IPG acquires Acxiom marketing services business for US$2.3bn

Advertising and media agency giant buys up Acxiom's database, data and analytics businesses to run as a standalone division within IPG MediaBrands

Advertising agency behemoth, Interpublic Group (IPG) has confirmed it’s acquiring database marketing and management solutions business, Acxiom, in a deal worth US$2.3 billion.

Under the deal, the Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS) business and brand name will become part of IPG’s global portfolio as a standalone division. The deal does not include the LiveRamp identity resolutions part of the Acxiom Corporation, but does cover Acxiom’s data strategy and management, audience creation and analytics capabilities.

The cash transaction is valued at $2.3 billion or a net $2bn after acquisition tax benefits, and has already been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. It’s expected to deliver additional and diverse revenue in the first year and represent 8 per cent of combined company revenue, as well as give IPG access to AMS’s long-term contractual relationships with more than 2000 clients worldwide.

According to IPG, the purchase price is 11.5 times AMS’s 2018 estimated EBITDA, a hefty price tag for the business. Acxiom has a market capitalisation of $2.63bn and the AMS component of the business represented about three-quarters of its total revenue (US$917 million) in the last fiscal year.

In a press statement, IPG said the combination brings together media and marketing agency expertise with data and personalised messaging. Specifically, with AMS, IPG said it will deliver a foundation data asset to clients based on a data set that covers two-thirds of the world’s population. Acxiom claims it now recognises 2.2 billion consumers and manages 20 billion customer records.

Acxiom also comes with 2100 associates with data and analytics professionals, an important commodity in an ecosystem where such skills are in extremely high demand.

“In a world where everything is becoming data-driven, Acxiom Marketing Solutions offers the deepest set of capabilities for helping companies navigate the complexity of creating personalised brand experiences across every consumer touchpoint,” IPG chairman and CEO, Michael Roth, said.

“Combing AMS with a range of IPG assets will help us shape the future of our industry. Acxiom’s leadership on data ethics is second to none, its business is solid and growing, and it has long played a foundational role in the marketing ecosystem.”

Roth said the two companies spent the past year working to power IPG’s AMP data platform and had recognised a good cultural fit.

“We’ve seen that the combination creates value for our clients, as it will for our shareholders,” he said.

Acxiom Corporation CEO, Scott Howe, said the deal came off the back of careful consideration of a variety of options and potential partners. It’s subject to conditions but expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

“It becomes clear that a sale of AMS to IPG, with its scale and breadth of complementary services, represented the best possible path forward for our clients and associates,” he said.

Under the new deal, AMS co-presidents, Dennis Self and Rick Erwin, will remain in their existing leadership roles, reporting into IPG Mediabrands.

IPG is a portfolio of advertising agencies and marketing services companies including McCann, MullenLowe Group, Weber Shandwick, UM Jack Morton and FutureBrand.

Like most, the agency group has been making regular acquisitions in recent years, although most recently the emphasis has been complementary digital and mobile agencies in the UK and Europe, such as Virta in 2017, and Zazzle Media, Stickyeyes and Mubaloo in 2016.


Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed ...

FIO Homes

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

I find this very strange. The Coles store i shop in still has Flouro lights? T though this would have been the 1st thing they would have ...

Brad

Coles launches new sustainability initiative

Read more

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

yo nice article

Bob

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Blog Posts

9 lessons from 7 months of relentless failure

The most innovative organisations embrace failure. Why? Because it is often through failing the most creative out-of-box thinking happens. And with it comes vital learning opportunities that bring new knowledge and experience into teams.

Jacki James

Digital product lead, Starlight Children's Foundation

Why conflict can be good for your brand

Conflict is essentially a clash. When between two people, it’s just about always a clash of views or opinions. And when it comes to this type of conflict, more than the misaligned views themselves, what we typically hate the most is our physiological response.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

Sign in