IgnitionOne Goes Private, Detaches From Dentsu

IgnitionOne's management team and employees have funded a cash buyout from Dentsu, its parent company. ABS Capital Partners, a later-stage growth investor with more than $2.5 billion raised, and Persimmon Capital Partners, a diversified alternative investment company focused on direct, growth-oriented private investments, backed the deal.

Dentsu acquired IgnitionOne as part of a 2010 the Innovation Interactive acquisition. The unwinding of the deal, which includes Netmining, but not digital agency 360i, solves a conflict that prevents the tech company from doing business with other holding companies and their clients, according to Will Margiloff, IgnitionOne CEO, who remains the company head honcho.

As Dentsu grew stronger, the global agency market became the biggest missed opportunity for IgnitionOne. "The independence allows us to compete in a demanding and a competitive space," Margiloff said. "We'll focus on making sure agencies know we have the technology that can simplify their lives."

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For IgnitionOne, the lack of independence left tens, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars in potential revenue on the table in the United Sates by not working direct with agencies that need support in paid search, mobile, display, social and other media.

Agency holding companies and agencies need to make bets on technology. Margiloff believes theyneed to make bets on those that works best to create efficiency and pass along savings to clients.

Deric Emry and Ralph Terkowitz of ABS Capital Partners and Robert Tobin of Persimmon Capital Partners will join the board. Financial details were not disclosed.

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