Dentsu Suggests Early Retirement For 100 Staffers

Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc. is implementing an early retirement program that is targeting 100 employees, the  agency holding company confirmed Monday.

The program is voluntary -- at least for now. It was not clear why the company was implementing it. In its latest six-month financial report, for the period ended Sept. 30, 2012, client billings were up almost 7% and revenues were up close to 9%. In November, however, billings dipped about 5%. December data isn’t yet available.

Also unclear is what action -- if any -- the company will take if the program is under- or over-subscribed, although the 100-employee target is a small fraction of the company’s 22,000-plus global employee base. Dentsu said it is the sixth time it has offered such a program, the last being implemented in 2007.

The program is available to employees with at least 10 years of service, who are between the ages of 40 and 59 years old, per the company. A Dentsu rep was not immediately available for follow-up questions.

Employees who opt into the program will retire as of March 31. The company said that participating employees would receive “standard retirement entitlements plus additional special retirement benefits,” neither of which were specifically defined.

Dentsu said that the special benefits to be paid would be accounted for as an extraordinary loss in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

Word of the program comes as Dentsu is trying to wrap up its acquisition of London-based Aegis Group, which it agreed to purchase last year for approximately $5 billion. It still needs regulatory approval from China, and has indicated it hopes to close the deal by February.

The firm remains acquisitive. Last week, it confirmed purchasing Fayetteville, Ark-based PR shop Mitchell Communications, the first step toward the development of a planned global PR network.

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