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Interpublic 'Near' to Acxiom Buy

July 2 2018

Marcoms giant Interpublic is nearing a deal to acquire the Marketing Solutions business of data firm Acxiom for more than $2bn, according to reports.

Interpublic 'Near' to Acxiom BuyThe business was formed in February when Acxiom reorganised into two units, giving a much-enhanced profile to LiveRamp, the data onboarding business it acquired five years ago. LiveRamp will form the core of the remaining Acxiom business if the latest rumoured sale goes ahead.

Late last week, reports were suggesting Dentsu was also in the running to acquire Marketing Solutions, but reports today on CNBC suggest Interpublic is 'near a deal' to acquire it for $2.2 billion. According to www.mediapost.com , the deal would be the biggest consumer data buy by a marcoms holding company since Dentsu Aegis bought Merkle in 2016 for $1.5 billion; and Interpublic's biggest and most significant buy since Michael Roth took over as CEO in 2005.

IPG has already been working globally with Acxiom, since announcing a global partnership to strengthen its data and analytics capabilities, in September last year.

If it happens, the buy will allow Interpublic to expand and strengthen its consumer data services and targeting offering. Analyst firm Liberum has suggested the deal could 'lead to more debate about the need to own data in a GDPR world, especially with signs that the US may be moving the same way' (see today's item on legislation in California), and might also 'influence WPP's decision on what it does with Kantar'.

Web sites: www.acxiom.com and www.interpublic.com .

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