Valassis Increases Equity to 88% in Relationship Marketing Joint Venture

Press release from the issuing company

LIVONIA, Mich., July 1 -- Valassis, the leading company in marketing services and Connective Media, announced that it increased its ownership in Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems (VRMS), its grocery loyalty marketing joint venture, effective today. The move took Valassis' former minority ownership in the venture up to 88%, resulting in the consolidation of the venture's financials into those of Valassis. The remaining 12% is owned by the VRMS management team and VNU, an international media and marketing research company, who is also the parent of Nielsen Media Research, Scarborough and Claritas, among others. The transaction took place as a result of Valassis exercising its option to buy out existing shareholders of Relationship Marketing Group (RMG), at the predetermined price of $4.5 million. A minority position of RMG had been purchased by Valassis in October 1999 and later rolled into the VRMS venture. The completed purchase of RMG by Valassis resulted in its majority interest in the current VRMS venture. VRMS financials for the second half of 2002 are already reflected in Valassis' 2002 guidance. Alan F. Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO of Valassis, said, "The increase in our ownership of VRMS demonstrates to our customers that we're highly committed to the one-to-one area of our business. We're very encouraged by the prospects we're seeing in the usage of grocery frequent shopper data, and feel that increasing our ownership will allow us to make excellent progress and key long-term, strategic decisions in this important area of marketing." In addition to VRMS, Valassis' one-to-one offerings include PreVision Marketing, an award-winning, leading strategic marketing firm that integrates agency and technology services. Valassis also has the capability to produce database marketing and CRM programs utilizing its internal direct mail and variable image printing capabilities.