MORRISVILLE – iContact, an email marketing firm launched in the Triangle 15 years ago, has a new owner and a smaller workforce as a result of the acquisition.

Geoffrey Alexander, president of iContact, confirmed to WRAL TechWire that the company was acquired by Los Angeles-based j2 Global as part of a deal with Cision, best known as the parent of BusinessWire.


Cision on Tuesday noted that it had “divested the assets” of its email focused operations “for approximately $49 million of cash consideration, with the potential for additional cash consideration based upon meeting certain business performance measures over the next 12 months.” Cision had merged with Vocus in 2014.

Vocus was the previous parent of iContact, having purchased the company for some $169 million in 2012 from cofounders Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton.

iContact had raised some $50 million in venture capital before it was sold.

Alexander acknowledged that job cuts have been made at iContact.

“As a result of the sale and assessing the global needs of our combined businesses, there were some roles eliminated.,” Alexander said.

He did not specify a number, but WRAL TechWire has been told that some 30 jobs were eliminated across multiple departments.

iContact, which it says is used by thousands of organizations across the country, will keep its focus on small- and medium-sized businesses, Alexander added.

Asked what the future of the company is and what changes might be made under new owners, Alexander noted:

“Our strategic buyer has tremendous experience with a range of leading cloud solutions including email marketing with a proven focus on serving SMB customers.”

Alexander also said its headquarters would remain in the Triangle.

“Absolutely,” he said in response to the headquarters question.

“North Carolina has always been important to iContact for 15 years and we look forward to continue operating, evolving and growing our business.”

Ciscion said the sale of emial-related assets “resulted from a detailed review of Cision’s long-term business strategy and desire to focus on our industry-leading communications cloud platform.”

iContact describers itself as providing “best-in-class digital marketing solutions and knowledgeable team members.”

On Wednesday, Cision announced it acquired TrendKite for $225 million and named TrendKite CEO Erik Huddleston as its new president.

“TrendKite and Cision have a shared understanding of the communications industry’s need to quantify the business value of earned media campaigns,” Huddleston said in the announcement. “The combination of TrendKite’s rich analytics platform and the Cision Communications Cloud platform will powerfully impact our joint customer base with the most robust, end-to-end Earned Media Management solution available.”