IPG acquires Acxiom in push to elevate data practices and address onset of ‘outcome-driven marketing’

Acxiom gets acquired by IPG and added to the Mediabrands stable.

IPG today (July 2) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Acxiom Corporation under which IPG will acquire the Acxiom Marketing Solutions business unit in a cash transaction valued at $2.3bn, or net $2.0bn after consideration of an acquisition-related benefit of the tax step-up.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies.

Acxiom’s 2,100 employees; which include 1,600 data specialists have now been added to IPG’s network of 20,000 staffers worldwide. The holding company’s new asset has access to over 2.2 billion consumers and manage records for over 20 billion customers worldwide.

The new offering, according to IPG, has four pillars in data management, analytics, data strategy, and audience creation.

With the acquisition, the Acxiom brand name will become part of the IPG portfolio; the transaction does not include the LiveRamp business of Acxiom Corporation. Dennis Self and Rick Erwin have retained their posts as co-presidents of AMS, which will remain a stand-alone division, aligned with IPG Mediabrands, but will now report to Arun Kumar, IPG’s chief data and marketing technology officer.

Michael Roth of IPG said in a statement: “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 personalized brand experiences across every consumer touchpoint. Combining 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.

“The company also boasts 2,100 associates with data and analytics skills that are at a premium in business today. Combined with IPG’s world-class client roster, as well as our talented 50,000-person global workforce across media, advertising and marketing services, and you have an unrivaled offering. Over the last year of working closely with AMS to power our AMP data platform, we’ve seen that our cultures are a great fit, and we’ve also seen that the combination creates value for our clients, as it will for our shareholders,” he continued.

Phillippe Krakowsky, IPG’s chief strategist and talent officer, and chairman/chief executive of IPG Mediabrands also commented, saying: “Everyone knows how valuable data is, but for most businesses it remains an under-leveraged asset. There also remains a great deal of uncertainty on how best to combine data with the creation and delivery of marketing messages. Our goal is to solve for those opportunities. With the skills and capabilities that AMS brings to our portfolio of companies, we can offer clients end-to-end solutions that we believe will change the way in which we work for brands, and accelerate the onset of outcome-driven marketing.”

Acxiom chief executive Scott Howe added: “This transaction is a great outcome for both Acxiom and our Acxiom Marketing Solutions business unit. 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.”

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