Data powerhouse sells a big piece of itself:
Merkle announced Monday that it’s sold a majority stake in its business to global media group Dentsu Aegis Network. The deal values Merkle’s business at $1.5 billion, according to sources with knowledge of the transaction. Merkle joins Dentsu Aegis’ nine existing global brands and will remain semi-autonomous after the deal, with longtime CEO David Williams remaining in charge.
Merkle employs more than 3,600 people in 21 offices worldwide serving 650 major clients such as Pandora and News Corp. The company provides data analytics and performance marketing for companies who want to advertise on platforms such as Google, for which it is one of the largest agency partners, and Facebook, for which it was one of the first to offer custom audience data. Profitable since just a couple years after Williams took over the company in a leveraged buyout for just $5 million in 1988, Merkle took in revenue of $436 million in 2015 on 14% growth.