Dentsu Aegis Acquires Majority Of Merkle, Becomes A Lead Agency Brand

Dentsu Aegis this morning said it has acquired a majority stake in Merkle Group, one of the largest and fastest-growing performance marketing agencies in the U.S.

Terms were not disclosed, but Columbia, Maryland-based Merkle has more than 2,900 employees and reported $436 million in revenues in 2015 -- a 14% increase over 2014.

Merkle has long been coveted by big agency holding companies for building and organization and technology that is considered best-in-breed for utilizing data to drive marketing results, especially vis a vis digital media.

The 25-plus-year-old agency has long focused on leveraging consumer data and applying it to customer relationship management (CRM) and claims 650 “Fortune 1,000” companies as customers.



London-based Dentsu Aegis said the deal represents a majority stake in Merkle, and Technology Crossover Ventures. Merkle CEO David Williams and the agency’s management team and employees will retain a significant minority interest.

Dentsu Aegis described the deal as a “highly complementary fit” given its focus on “media, performance, content and brand commerce,” and said Merkle will become one of its network's leading agency brands, adding that the acquisition will help its goal of becoming a “100% digital economy business by 2020.”

“We sought a fit that would complement our vision, escalate our brand, and provide growth opportunities for our people, while also valuing Merkle’s unique strengths and culture,” stated Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams, adding that Dentsu Aegis’ vision for “people-based marketing” aligns with Merkle’s.

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