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

Blog Posts

5 things marketers need to do to get better in buy in when presenting

Presentations are a marketer’s best friend. They can be a concise, targeted and effective form of communication with the potential to make a real impact on your audience.

Emma Bannister

Founder and CEO, Presentation Studio

How to overcome negative habitual thinking

One of the greatest challenges facing senior leaders today is what’s going on in their own head.

Lisa Stephenson

Author, success coach, consultant

The purpose of purpose

Everyone knows the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, product, promotion and place. There is now a fifth ‘P’ in the marketing mix.

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

haters gonna hate

David Bentley

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Social Media is platform where people get connected to each other from the world and share their views and thoughts on any product. Socia...

Tejas Potfode

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

We can't overlook mobile. Each passing day people are on their phones more and more

This Is My South Bay

What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in