Dentsu Wins Marcom M&A Crown For 2017

Dentsu was the most acquisitive company in the marketing/communications M&A space last year, according to an analysis by agency tracker COMvergence.

Most of the Japan-based firm’s acquisitions were tied to its international expansion and fell within the purview of the Dentsu Aegis Network.

The company had a total of 23 acquisitions in 2017, adding estimated revenues of $263 million. Nearly 3,000 employees were affiliated with the acquired companies, according the COMvergence tally.

WPP was the second-most acquisitive company in the space last year, with 20 acquisitions that added $264 million in revenue to the firm’s coffers, accounting for more than 2,500 new WPP employees.

Third on the list may surprise you, unless of course you’ve been paying close attention to the subject: consulting giant Accenture, which made 14 acquisitions in the marcoms space, twice the number of deals it made in 2016. The Accenture total accounted for about two-thirds of the 23 IT/consulting company deals tallied up by COMvergence for 2017.



By contrast, while Accenture was a lot hungrier for deals last year, both Dentsu and WPP had less of an appetite for acquisitions (in terms of the number of deals) versus the previous year. The COMvergence rundown shows that combined, two firms made about one-third fewer deals last year than in 2016.

Dentsu made the largest acquisition—Switzerland’s Blue Infinity, which has estimated annual revenue of $59 million. Accenture accounted for the second- and third-largest deals: Germany’s SinnerSchrader ($51 million in annual revenue) and Brazil’s Concrete Solutions ($30 million) respectively.

Rounding out the top-five acquirers by number of deals were Vivendi/Havas (eight) and Publicis Groupe (six).

Some caveats: Minority-stake acquisitions were not included in the analysis nor were deals by private-equity groups, like Bain Capital’s acquisition of Japanese agency ADK.

For more particulars visit the COMvergence site here.


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