Dentsu Aegis Network are to take a majority stake in Merkle, an independent performance marketing agency and the largest independent agency in the US for CRM, digital, and search. Merkle offers a range of services, including data and analytics, marketing technology, digital agency services and consulting. Merkle generated $436m of revenues in 2015, an increase of 14 per cent on 2014.
The company has over 650 clients, access to over 150 marketing databases, and manages over 3.7bn first-party customer records. Merkle employs more than 3,400 colleagues working in 21 offices, with 16 in the US and the remainder in London, Bristol, Barcelona, Shanghai, and Nanjing.
Dentsu Aegis say they have ‘significantly outperformed the market’ through both organic growth and via the 80 acquisitions it has made in the last three years. Attracting and successfully retaining entrepreneurial businesses and their leaders to the Network has bolstered the delivery of market leading organic growth. Merkle represents by far the largest acquisition and step-changes the development of both businesses in terms of scale and range of services.
Jerry Buhlmann, Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Aegis, said, “We have long admired the Merkle business, brand and people and are delighted that they are becoming part of our Group, complementing our existing offer to clients and strengthening our competitive advantage at the forefront of the rapidly growing digital economy.
“Our investment in Merkle is a unique opportunity to bring together two great businesses which have a strong fit in strategic, product, cultural and geographic terms. As the latest brand in our global network, Merkle will be able to accelerate its transformation into an international agency, by leveraging our global reach and platforms and providing new capabilities to our clients.
“The growth of the digital economy is one of the few certainties in an uncertain world. Merkle brings a powerful range of data led, fully addressable and real time capabilities. The combination of our two businesses will create a compelling offer in that context for existing and potential clients.”