Dentsu Aegis Network, headquartered in London, announced that they have brought forward the purchase of Merkle, and have signed the complete ownership agreement for 100% of Merkle shares.
Prior to the signing, Dentsu owned 66% of Merkle shares with an option to buy the remaining 34% in Q3 2021. However, the accelerated purchase of the remaining shares means that Dentsu Aegis Network now owns 100% of Merkle. As per the initial agreement, payment will still be made in Q3 2021.
The decision to bring the full purchase forward brings Dentsu Group Inc. a number of advantages: it secures the expertise and knowledge of Merkle’s senior management team, strengthens DAN’s CRM line of business and the group’s ability to offer clients world-class integrated solutions across Creative, CRM and Media; and allows the deployment of key Merkle talent to global roles across Dentsu Aegis Network.
Toshi Yamamoto, president and CEO, Dentsu Group Inc., and acting executive chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network comments: “Today’s announcement is significant on many levels as we fully integrate Merkle into Dentsu Aegis Network. At a time of considerable uncertainty, this agreement provides clarity to our employees, clients and stakeholders. Merkle are the market leaders in data, analytics and CRM and this accelerated integration will help to further future-proof the business, enabling revenue growth and improving operating margins globally.”
“Merkle represents the highest growth area of the overall business. For our clients, the acquisition has already been transformative, positioning us as world leaders in delivering fully integrated services and solutions across the marketing mix, alongside our Media and Creative offerings, helping our clients to win, keep and grow their best customers.”
This announcement comes shortly after the confirmation of Wendy Clark’s appointment as the new global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network responsible for delivering integrated client solutions across Creative, CRM and Media. The accelerated acquisition of Merkle and Wendy’s appointment confirm the ambitions of Dentsu Aegis Network to deliver its long-term growth plans against a robust strategy in order to become the strongest integrated network globally.
David Williams, founder and CEO, Merkle and chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, Americas comments: “Today’s announcement is a positive step in our full integration solidifying the future of the team as central to Dentsu Aegis Network’s strategic ambitions. It provides us all with materially more flexibility to deliver integrated solutions for our clients, working alongside our talented colleagues across DAN’s Media and Creative offerings. In addition, the economics of Merkle are now fully linked to Dentsu’s thus empowering us as ‘one dentsu’ to move with agility as we emerge from the challenges of coronavirus, together.“
Dentsu Aegis has focused on acquiring relevant, high-performance businesses globally in high growth areas including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing and social & mobile. As the most acquisitive agency group DAN has welcomed over 177 agencies in the last six years, bolstering capability and focus on client delivery. Most notably, the Merkle acquisition placed DAN as the market leader for data, analytics and CRM. Merkle is the market leading data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency with a core strength focused on CRM and maximising the value of clients’ customer portfolios. It works with world-class brands like Dell, T-Mobile, Samsung, GEICO, Kimberly-Clark, Sanofi and NBC Universal and employs more than 9,000 people across 56+ locations worldwide. The Merkle acquisition was the largest industry deal in 2016, and at that time Merkle was the largest independent US based data, analytics, CRM and marketing performance agency. Merkle’s revenue has almost doubled in size since the acquisition in 2016.