Interpublic Group (IPG) announced that it will be acquiring Acxiom Marketing Solutions for $2.3 billion.
Acxiom Marketing Solutions is an Arkansas-based database marketing company that collects and distributes information drawn from an estimated 2.2 billion consumers globally. The holding company IPG believes that this acquisition will help clients better target their ads while relying less exclusively on tools provided by tech giants such as Facebook and Google.
“The conclusion to draw is that IPG is willing to invest, period. It’s not something they’d done in the past 20 years,” said Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group. “This indicates that they’re moving forward as a standalone company.”
IPG agreed to acquire Acxiom Marketing Solutions in a cash transaction valued at $2.3 Billion. The deal received unanimous approval from the Boards of Directors at both companies. Once the transaction is complete, Acxiom will be a standalone unit within IPG’s media agency network Mediabrands. The deal, however, does not include data onboarding company LiveRamp, which the Acxiom acquired in 2014.
“With this acquisition, IPG has an offering unlike any other holding company. We have the world’s premier media, creative and marketing communications agencies coupled with the world’s leader in personalized messaging, all under one roof,” wrote IPG CEO Michael Roth in an internal memo reaffirming how he believes Acxiom will help sell his agencies’ services to clients.
Roth also argued that the acquisition will help IPG stand out in terms of the ongoing debate over consumer privacy. “Acxiom has a global repository of data that covers 65 percent of the world’s population,” he wrote. “The data stack they have built has been ethically sourced, meaning consumer consent has been at the heart of the company’s DNA since its founding.”
“After careful consideration of a variety of options and potential partners, it became 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,” read a statement from Acxiom CEO Scott Howe.
“This is important news for IPG in Asia where the Acxiom capability will complement their media assets, particularly in China and Australia where the newly acquired company has a strong footprint,” R3 principal Greg Paull told Campaign. “It sends an important message to the industry that data leadership is now a fundamental part of media strategy and thinking.”