Here's a bit on the deal by the numbers: Combined global revenue
for No. 5 Dentsu and No. 8 Aegis was $5.89 billion in 2011. The
combined entity would still remain the fifth-largest agency
holding, behind No. 4 Interpublic's more than $7 billion in global
revenue. But after Dentsu, the next-largest holding company is
French-owned Havas, with just $2.29 billion in global revenue.
Vincent Bollore -- who's long been one of the most powerful
admen in the business, with huge ownership stakes in both Havas and
Aegis Group -- has been the largest shareholder in Aegis, with a
stake of about 26%. When Dentsu officially inked a deal last night,
it purchased about 15% of his stake, which is the most it was
permitted to acquire at once per certain antitrust rules. Dentsu
has an option to take 5% more pending approval. That will leave Mr.
Bollore with 6% of Aegis until its shareholders meeting in August,
at which time he is expected to vote his shares to Dentsu.
The deal is expected to close late this year, and then comes the
big challenge: integrating the two massive companies in order to
take advantage of any synergies for clients while accounting for
where there could be any overlaps between the two groups.
Combined, the companies' total number of clients will amount to
somewhere around 11,000; geographically speaking, Dentsu-Aegis will
have operations in some 80 countries.
According to Dentsu Network President and CEO Tim Andree, the
goal -- in keeping with the Japanese company's acquisition strategy
in the West so far -- is to maintain the identity of each of the
main brands that sit under Aegis Group, which include Carat, Isobar, IProspect, Posterscope and
"Our plan is to keep the five brands of the Aegis group
operating," and "not to alter any of the brands," Mr. Andree said.
"If you look at our past history, we don't come in very often and
change existing brands." The companies that Dentsu has focused on
acquiring in the West so far, McGarryBowen,
360i and Firstborn,
all have kept their identities, and if anything, in the case of
McGarryBowen, that brand has taken over Dentsu offices in
"We don't think there's a lot of internal overlap and
competition between the brands," said Mr. Andree. He added that
although the massive deal is one of a scale that hasn't been seen
in many years, scale is secondary to acquisition of strategic
offerings that Dentsu was looking for.
"We're not pursuing a strategy of scale for scale's sake -- that
's the old-style holding company model."