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Western Buys Into Direct Marketing Firm

Western Buys Into Direct Marketing Firm

Western Resources of Topeka, KS, acquired a 40% interest in national direct marketer Paradigm Direct for $31.2 million. "This strategic transaction provides an excellent opportunity to bridge our customer bases. Over the past few years we set a course to dramatically expand Western Resources' national footprint. With Paradigm's marketing expertise, we are positioned to increase the services we provide these customers and do so efficiently," said David C. Wittig, Western Resources CEO.

The investment is in the form of a cash pay convertible preferred instrument. Western Resources will also have participation in pre-tax earnings of Paradigm.

Based in Ft. Lee, NJ, Paradigm Direct assists clients with leading brands in diversified industries such as telecommunications, financial services and insurance, to acquire new customers through direct mail, telemarketing, direct response television, and the Internet. Paradigm has sales in excess of $70 million.

By 1999 Western Resources expects to have access to more than 6 million customers nationwide through its electric utility operations; its 85% ownership of home security service Protection One; and investment in ONEOK, the country's eighth largest gas distribution company.

Paradigm's initial focus for Western Resources will be to roll out a new marketing plan for Protection One with the goal to create new customers at a significantly lower cost.

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