Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired a majority stake in India-based data and analytics company Ugam, which will be added to its performance marketing division Merkle.
Founded in 2000 and with more than 1,800 employees in India, the United States and Australia, Ugam offers bespoke solutions blending data, technology and expertise, including retail analytics, survey analytics, technology implementation, data engineering and digital product content solutions. The buy, Merkle's fifth in 12 months (including Amicus Digital, Namics AG and Filter), and the thirteenth since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in 2016, is one of its largest to date.
To be known henceforth as Ugam, a Merkle Company, the firm will continue to be led by Sunil Mirani (pictured), co-founder and CEO, reporting to Merkle Americas President Craig Dempster. Otherwise Ugam's reporting structures will stay as they are, and Merkle says its remaining senior leaders 'will play a key role in the growth plans of the company'. Ugam's solutions are described as 'highly complementary' to Merkle's existing capabilities, bringing scale to its analytics business including Dentsu Aegis' people-based insights-to-activation platform M1.
Dempster says Ugam is 'vital to the execution of Merkle's multi-year analytics strategy of creating a scaled on- and offshore shared analytics service across Dentsu Aegis Network'. He adds: 'With its experienced management team, highly-educated workforce, scale, and vertical market expertise, Ugam will bring high-end analytics capabilities, along with a broad spectrum of analytical decision support'. Alex Yoder, Merkle's EVP Analytics comments: ' As the analytics business becomes increasingly commoditized, the pressure to expand capabilities into predictive and prescriptive methodologies simultaneously intensifies. Merkle's majority stake in Ugam and its resulting enhanced scale and capabilities will be instrumental as we scale to effectively compete with top analytic consulting firms over the next three to five years'.
Mirani says Merkle is 'the perfect partner', adding: 'We complement each other's strengths, with Ugam bringing advanced analytics capabilities at scale, and Merkle bringing a diverse client base with a largely in-country presence. Most importantly, the cultural fit was evident from day one, and the effects will be immensely positive for all our stakeholders - customers, employees, and shareholders'.
Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and is headquartered in London, with more than 40,000 dedicated specialists. Merkle employs around 7,000 and is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 21 additional offices in the US and 33 offices in Europe and APAC.
Web sites are at www.dentsuaegisnetwork.com , www.merkleinc.com and www.ugamsolutions.com .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.