Dentsu Aegis Network

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Dentsu Aegis Network is the umbrella for all international operations of Japanese market giant Dentsu. It was formed in Spring 2013 from the merger of the existing Dentsu Network entity with newly acquired UK-based marketing group Aegis plc, whose biggest subsidiary was the worldwide media network Carat. Uniquely among the top tier of marketing companies, Aegis had for almost its entire history had no traditional advertising network within its portfolio, operating instead as a media independent organisation. Nevertheless, the group built up a collection of other interests over the years including the digital network Isobar and market researcher Synovate (later sold), as well as second-string media agency Vizeum. Its effective independence made the group a prime candidate for takeover from 2005 onwards. Several bidders made formal or informal offers, but the most persistent suitor was Vincent Bolloré, chairman of rival group Havas, who became the biggest shareholder in Aegis, with the unspoken goal of encouraging a merger of the two groups. However, his repeated attempts to win a seat on the Aegis board were rebuffed, and he eventually abandoned the idea of combining Aegis and Havas in 2011. Instead, the following year, Bolloré gave his support to a proposed takeover of Aegis by Dentsu for up to £3.2bn.

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Dentsu Aegis Network

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Nov 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network's shopping spree continued with the acquisition of Gravity Media, the New York multicultural agency founded and run by Yuriy Boykiv. The deal also covers Gravity's parent entity Findr Group which also owns two digital marketing and social media units. Boykiv will continue to run the business, reporting to DAN US CEO Rob Horler.

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Sep 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network added to its string of acquisitions so far this year with no less than four new deals this week, including Australia's fast-growing digital and data agency WiTH Collective, and India's second largest independent PR company Perfect Relations. It also added Brazilian digital consultancy Cosin and a stake in UK digital content company Avid Media. The new agreements follow previous deals to acquire global B2B network Gyro and leading US CRM agency Merkle, among others.

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Aug 2016: Hot on the heels of its deal for Gyro, Dentsu Aegis Network added another string to its bow with the acquisition of US CRM giant Merkle. The purchase will fill a significant hole in the group's US portfolio, which currently lacks strength in data-marketing. Terms were not disclosed, but media reports identified a valuation for Merkle of $1.5bn including debt. Dentsu said Merkle has revenues of $436m last year. DAN is buying out Merkle's majority shareholder, the investment fund Technology Crossover Ventures, and other investors. However, management and employees will collectively retain a minority holding in the business.

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Another independent bites the dust. Dentsu Aegis Network announced the acquisition of global B2B network Gyro for an undisclosed sum. The group had been jointly owned by private equity investors and management. CEO & CCO Christoph Becker will remain at the helm of an expanded network, which will absorb DAN's existing Interprise business. The latter's Stuart Giddings becomes global president, reporting to Becker. Gyro will also expand its presence into Latin America and Asia via DAN's other units in those regions, including Carat, iProspect and of course Dentsu itself. "We currently partner with independent partners [for media] and that is not ideal," said Becker. "This gives us a media powerhouse and propels our offering."

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Mar 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network continued its push into new markets, acquiring a majority stake in New Zealand's Barnes Catmur & Friends. Founders Daniel Barnes and Paul Catmur will continue to lead the business, which will be DAN's first creative outpost in New Zealand.

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