Dentsu Aegis Network to Acquire Majority Stake in Merkle
Acquisition combines theDentsu's advertising and media capabilities with the Merkle's data analytics, CRM, performance marketing.
Posted Aug 8, 2016
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Dentsu Aegis Network will acquire a majority stake in Merkle, a performance marketing agency offering a wide range of services, including data and analytics, marketing technology, digital agency services, and consulting. As part of the transaction, Dentsu Aegis is acquiring a majority stake in Merkle, and Technology Crossover Ventures and other shareholders are selling shares. Merkle's CEO, David Williams, the management team, and employees are retaining a significant minority interest.

Merkle generated $436 million in revenue in 2015.  The company has more than 650 world-class clients, access to more than 150 marketing databases, and manages more than 3.7 billion first-party customer records. Merkle employs more than 3,400 people in 21 offices.

Merkle will become one of Dentsu Aegis Network's leading agency brands, and the combination is expected to deliver significant revenue growth opportunities. Dentsu Aegis' strategy is to become a 100 per cent digital economy business by 2020 and the addition of Merkle will accelerate this ambition as well as significantly enhance the Network's global operations.

"Becoming a part of Dentsu Aegis Network further strengthens our position and allows us to accelerate our goal of being a world-class global performance marketing agency," Williams said in a statement. "Their vision, ambition, and perspective on the people-based marketing opportunity align with ours at Merkle. Ultimately this is about doing great work for clients, and being part of Dentsu Aegis Network will enhance our ability to be true strategic partners to our clients."

"We have long admired the Merkle business, brand, and people and are delighted that they are becoming part of our group, complementing our existing offer to clients and strengthening our competitive advantage at the forefront of the rapidly growing digital economy. Our investment in Merkle is a unique opportunity to bring together two great businesses which have a strong fit in strategic, product, cultural, and geographic terms. As the latest brand in our global network, Merkle will be able to accelerate its transformation into an international agency by leveraging our global reach and platforms and providing new capabilities to our clients," Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Dentsu Aegis, said in a statement. "The growth of the digital economy is one of the few certainties in an uncertain world. Merkle brings a powerful range of data-led, fully addressable, and real-time capabilities. The combination of our two businesses will create a compelling offer in that context for existing and potential clients."

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