NEWS7 September 2012

OFT delays Aegis-Dentsu deliberation for 10 more days


UK — The Office of Fair Trading has delayed its decision on whether to refer the £3.16bn acquisition of Aegis by Dentsu to the Competition Commission for at least another 10 days. A decision will now be published by 24 September.

The sale and purchase of Aegis shares has now been provisionally cleared, pending international clearance. Upon completion, Dentsu will then combine with 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.”

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. Also included in the deal will be new acquisition marketing effectiveness analytics consultancy Data2Decisions (D2D).

The acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of a number of remaining conditions, including receipt of certain anti-trust clearances and the sanction by other international courts and associated reductions in capital. Full completion of the Acquisition is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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.”