3Q Digital, the disruptive growth marketing agency for brands like Pandora, Skechers, Titleist, and Uniqlo, has entered into a definitive agreement to combine with global digital agency DEPT. 3Q Digital’s team of 500 US-based experts will join the agency to deliver best-in-class data and engineering, creative automation, and personalization at a global scale.
Together, DEPT and 3Q Digital will have 3,000 specialists that will support 65+ languages and campaign experiences in 180+ markets and will manage more than $3 billion in digital media spending, positioning it as one of the leading independent agencies in the world. To provide clients with one global tech stack, 3Q Digital’s proprietary solutions, including Qontrol, will be integrated into the Ada by DEPT proprietary martech platform after closing of the transaction.
Rob Murray, CEO at 3Q Digital, said: “DEPT is building a fully-integrated delivery model with simple structures, speed, clarity, and personal contact. Joining forces will expand our ability to impact the entire customer journey with the support of DEPT’s experience, commerce, technology and creative services. Their commitment as a climate neutral, Certified B Corporation, support for a hybrid work model, and pioneering spirit will create a new type of agency that is truly big enough to cope and small enough to care.”
Upon closing of the transaction, 3Q Digital will be known as 3Q/DEPT. With the proposed combination, 3Q Digital’s shareholders will receive shares in DEPT. Penny Pritzker, chairman of PSP Partners and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce said: “It’s a time of high-growth for the digital industry, as it has been since we acquired 3Q Digital. These two powerhouses, each led by world-class teams, have all the ingredients for a long-term, winning strategy as a combined business.” Pritzker will join the DEPT supervisory board at the closing of the transaction. PSP Partners, along with Erie Street, first invested in 3Q Digital in 2019.
Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, DEPT has grown to more than 2,500 people across five continents, working with brands including Google, Philips, eBay, Patagonia, ASOS, Diageo and more. Its long-term growth strategy has been backed by global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) since 2020. In addition to 3Q Digital, six other agencies have joined the company over the past year. Earlier this month, DEPT announced the rebranding of its US agencies and welcomed former Dentsu Aegis Network CEO, Jerry Buhlmann, as Non-Executive Chairman. With over $500 million in expected 2022 net sales, DEPT has established a significant operational footprint in Europe, North America, and South America, and is rapidly expanding its APAC presence.
“3Q Digital has become one of the fastest-growing agencies in the world by delivering ROI and transparency,” said Dimi Albers, CEO at DEPT. “Together we will be able to deliver speed and scale for our clients, powered by the best talent, data and tech stack. For us, this will mark a big step forward in the US as it will double our size and ability to combine marketing and tech in integrated teams for clients, which has been the secret to our industry-leading growth in Europe.”
The proposed transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022 and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions (including antitrust regulatory clearance). Global investment bank, Canacord Genuity, advised 3Q Digital on the transaction.