IPG snaps ups Acxiom Marketing Solutions for $2.3bn

Marketing services firm IPG is buying Acxiom’s Marketing Solutions business (AMS) for $2.3bn (£1.7bn) in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by Acxioms Board of Directors and is expected to close by the end of calendar 2018.

Acxiom will retain its other business unit, LiveRamp, which provides customer data services and rename the company as LiveRamp following the disposal of AMS.

Acxiom CEO Scott Howe described the sale as: “a great outcome for both Acxiom and our AMS business unit”. He said: “Acxiom Marketing Solutions is a strong business with deep expertise in data-driven marketing, talented associates and an exceptional client roster. After careful consideration of a variety of options and potential partners, it became clear that a sale of AMS to IPG, with its vast scale and breadth of complementary services, represented the best possible path forward for our clients and associates.”

Acxiom said it had explored a wide range of strategic options to maximize the value of AMS and enable clients to benefit from a broader set of offerings. After conducting a thorough and competitive process, the company considered multiple proposals and concluded that a sale of AMS to IPG is in the best interest of clients, associates and shareholders since the all-cash transaction unlocks immediate value for Acxiom shareholders and enables Acxiom to return capital through an accelerated and expanded ongoing share repurchase program. The sale also gives the company greater financial flexibility to further fund its organic growth opportunities and potential acquisitions and partnerships.

“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,” said IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth. “The powerful combination of IPG and Acxiom Marketing Solutions is a game changer for the industry, and we believe it will drive meaningful value for both our clients and shareholders. 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 are very excited to welcome them to IPG.”