MMW learned on Monday that Dentsu Aegis Network and Merkle Group Inc. have signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Merkle, a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency.
Markle is also the largest independent agency in the US for CRM, digital, and search.
“This is a significant strategic combination that will accelerate Merkle’s ability to grow as a global agency and provide exciting new opportunities for the customers and employees of both organisations,” a news release emailed to MMW reads.
As part of the transaction, Dentsu Aegis is acquiring a majority stake in Merkle, and Technology Crossover Ventures and certain other shareholders are selling shares. Merkle’s CEO, David Williams, the management team and employees are retaining a significant minority interest. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to complete before the end of September 2016.
“As we considered a new investment partner, we sought a fit that would complement our vision, escalate our brand, and provide growth opportunities for our people, while also valuing Merkle’s unique strengths and culture,” says David Williams, Merkle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Becoming a part of Dentsu Aegis Network further strengthens our position and allows us to accelerate our goal of being a world-class Global performance marketing agency.”
“Through this process I’ve spent a lot of time with Dentsu Aegis Network’s leadership team,” Williams notes. “Their vision, ambition and perspective on the people-based marketing opportunity align with ours at Merkle. Ultimately this is about doing great work for clients and being part of Dentsu Aegis Network will enhance our ability to be true strategic partners to our clients.”