NEWS12 July 2012

Dentsu to buy Aegis for £3.16bn

Asia Pacific M&A

JAPAN/UK— Japanese marketing services company Dentsu is to buy media buying and digital marketing group Aegis for £3.16bn, including the Aztec scan-data business and the Aevolve marketing effectiveness company.

The offer has been recommended by the board of Aegis and is subject to acceptance by shareholders. It plans to combine Dentsu and Aegis to “create a new global communications network for the digital age focused on delivering best-in-class brand, media, digital and marketing services for the combined client base through a fully-integrated social platform.”

Aegis says the deal comes as a result of its “transformation” when in October 2011 it completed the sale of Synovate, enabling “a full focus on Aegis’s core business as a specialised provider of media and digital communications, advertising solutions and information to major companies”.

Aztec, which Aegis retained following Synovate’s sale, will continue to operate on a standalone basis as a scan-data services business that works with retailers and manufacturers across the grocery, pharmaceutical, mass merchant, and petrol/convenience channels.

Similarly, the Aevolve business will continue to work with the Aegis Media network – Carat, Vizeum, iProspect, Isobar and Posterscope – helping the agencies to exploit data and research to maximise the return from clients’ marketing communication programmes. Both firms will sit under the Dentsu Marketing Insight umbrella.

Tadashi Ishii, president and CEO of Dentsu, said: “Together, we will be able to deliver fully integrated and best-in-class services to our clients through a new global communication network born in the digital age offering a broadened service portfolio.”

Jerry Buhlmann (pictured), CEO of Aegis, added: “By forming the first communications group with true global reach, the growth strategies of both businesses will be enhanced as we provide more scale, geography, capability and
investment to support clients. For the people of both these great businesses, the combination offers continuity and the promise of working for one of the most exciting, high-growth companies in our industry.”