Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired an additional one-third stake in Merkle, giving it 100% ownership of the data and precision marketing firm. The transaction follows its purchase of a majority interest in the company in 2016.
The original deal provided DAN with an option to buy full ownership next year but the parties agreed to accelerate that timetable, giving DAN full ownership now. As per the initial agreement, payment will be made in the third quarter 2021.
Toshi Yamamoto, President and CEO, Dentsu Group Inc., and Acting Executive Chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network stated:
“Today’s announcement is significant on many levels as we fully integrate Merkle into Dentsu Aegis Network. At a time of considerable uncertainty, this agreement provides clarity to our employees, clients and stakeholders. Merkle are the market leaders in data, analytics and CRM and this accelerated integration will help to further future-proof the business, enabling revenue growth and improving operating margins globally.”
Yamamoto also noted that “Merkle represents the highest growth area of the overall business,” and that it is a key element in the company’s strategic growth plan.
David Williams, Founder & CEO, Merkle & Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, Americas added that the accelerated transaction provides “more flexibility to deliver integrated solutions for our clients, working alongside our talented colleagues across DAN’s Media and Creative offerings.”
The Merkle acquisition was the largest industry deal in 2016 and its revenue has almost doubled in size since that time, according to DAN.