iCrossing Hits The Auction Block

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. digital-marketing firm iCrossing has hired Bank of America (BAC.N) and is holding talks with potential suitors, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

ICrossing hired Bank of America roughly six weeks ago after it received an unsolicited bid from publisher Hearst Corp, one person told the Journal. The company’s board decided Hearst’s offer was too low and decided to court other potential buyers.

The Journal said iCrossing has held early talks with several possible acquirers including advertising firm WPP Plc (WPP.L), Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc (4324.T) and Aegis Media, an Aegis Group Plc unit (AEGS.L).

ICrossing is backed by Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) and Oak Investment Partners.

iCrossing’s public relations director Dana Mellecker told Reuters: “We’ve had a very strong year and we have a lot of options available to fuel the continued growth of the company.”

ICrossing is seeking about $400 million from bidders but could remain independent if it can’t attract the right price, several people told the Journal. Hearst’s original offer was around $250 million.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Anshuman Daga)