Venable represents long-standing client, Merkle Group Inc., a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency and the largest independent agency in the U.S. for CRM, digital, and search, in its sale of a majority stake to London based Dentsu Aegis Network. Dentsu Aegis Network operates in 145 countries worldwide and is part of the Japanese advertising conglomerate, Dentsu Inc., the fifth-largest ad company in the world, by revenue.
As part of the transaction, Dentsu Aegis Network is acquiring a majority stake in Merkle, and Technology Crossover Ventures, a leading provider of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry, and certain other shareholders are selling shares. A significant minority stake in Merkle will be retained by its management team and employees. A Venable team led by Anthony Rosso, Michael Schiffer and Jeffrey Keehn navigated the complex deal and provided corporate, tax, antitrust and regulatory advice.
The strategic acquisition of Merkle by Dentsu Aegis Network allows Merkle to accelerate its growth overseas, specifically in Europe and Asia. Merkle will become one of Dentsu Aegis Network’s leading agency brands and the strategic combination of the two is expected to deliver significant revenue growth opportunities and added benefits and capabilities to their clients. The deal officially closed on September 1 and was originally announced on August 11, 2016.