NEWS16 April 2020

Dentsu Group takes 100% ownership of Merkle

Asia Pacific Data analytics M&A News UK

UK – Dentsu Aegis Network has brought forward its full purchase of data and analytics business Merkle following its acquisition of a majority stake in 2016.

DAVID_WILLIAMS merkle_crop

Prior to the agreement being signed, Dentsu owned 66% of Merkle shares with the option to buy the remainder in the third quarter of 2021.

Dentsu Aegis now owns 100% of Merkle’s shares, ahead of the original buyout date. Payment will still be made in 2021.

The move will strengthen Dentsu’s CRM business line and the integration of services across creative, CRM and media. It will also allow key individuals within Merkle to take on global roles across Dentsu Aegis.

It follows the appointment of Wendy Clark as global chief executive of Dentsu Aegis Network.

Toshi Yamamoto, president and chief executive, Dentsu Group Inc., and acting executive chairman and chief executive, Dentsu Aegis Network, said: "At a time of considerable uncertainty, this agreement provides clarity to our employees, clients and stakeholders. This accelerated integration will help to further future-proof the business, enabling revenue growth and improving operating margins globally. Merkle represents the highest growth area of the overall business."

David Williams, founder and chief executive, Merkle and chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, Americas (pictured), said the move will bring "more flexibility to deliver integrated solutions for clients" and allow the companies to move together as they "emerge from the challenges of coronavirus".