Dentsu acquires US marketing agency Merkle in a deal worth more than $1 billion

MerkleLinkedInDavid Williams, Merkle CEO.

Dentsu Aegis Network, the network of media agencies that sits within Japan-based advertising holding company Dentsu, has acquired US marketing agency Merkle in a deal worth more than $1 billion.

In a statement, the companies said Dentsu Aegis is acquiring a majority stake in Merkle, while investor Technology Crossover Ventures and “certain other shareholders” are selling their shares.

Merkle’s management team and employees will retain a “significant minority interest” in the company.

The release doesn’t reveal the size of the transaction, but a source close to the deal told Business Insider it values Merkle at around $1.5 billion.

Merkle claims to be the largest independent data analytics, CRM (customer relationship management), and performance marketing agency in the US.

The company said it generated $436 million in revenue in 2015, up 14% on the prior year. It has around 3,400 colleagues spread across 21 global offices and works with more than 650 clients including Dell, Geico, and Nespresso.

Merkle will join the other agency brands in the Dentsu Aegis Network, which includes Carat, Isobar, iProspect, Dentsu Media, Mcgarrybown, and Vizeum.

The deal is expected to close before the end of September 2016.

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