David Blecken
Oct 21, 2016

Dentsu the most acquisitive group in 2016

A report from Results International notes strong demand for analytics and VR specialists.

Jerry Buhlman, chief executive of Dentsu Aegis, said Merkle acquisition provides powerful data-led capabilities.
Jerry Buhlman, chief executive of Dentsu Aegis, said Merkle acquisition provides powerful data-led capabilities.

TOKYO - Dentsu made the most acquisitions in the marketing sector globally between Q1 and Q3 2016, according to data from Results International.

The Japanese giant has made a total of 34 this year against WPP’s 27. It made 12 purchases in Q3, followed by WPP with seven. Results International highlights Dentsu’s US$1.5 billion purchase of Merkle, a US performance marketing company, as representative of the continuing strong demand for data-driven businesses.

The report also shows the increasing role of consultancies in the marketing communications space, with Accenture, Deloitte and IBM among the most acquisitive companies. Deloitte, for example, entered the virtual reality space with the acquisition of Kid Neon Images, an Australian 3D visualisation company. Deloitte expects 2016 to be worth $1 billion for VR.

Results International notes that while digital deals made up the largest sub-sector in Q3, there was also an increase in M&A involving PR agencies, with 28 transactions. Asia-Pacific accounted for 142 acquisition targets, compared to 325 in North America and 146 in Western Europe.


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