Dentsu and larger rival WPP were the most active acquirers in the digital, media, marketing and technology sectors in the first six months of 2015. Ciesco, which partnered with data services provider Experian in its latest M&A report, analyzed 542 deals in the “technology-enabled media and marketing” sector that took place in the first half of 2015. Dentsu and WPP each made 13 deals in the space in the first six months of the year, the analysis found. The data doesn’t say what the total value of the companies’ deals are.
WPP’s deal making, meanwhile, appeared to slow down this year. WPP, the world’s largest ad holding company, had 39 transactions in the tech, media and marketing sector in the first half of 2014, Ciesco’s data shows. Ciesco said WPP’s deal making pace last year was likely due to a focus on growing market share when the ill-fated merger of fellow ad holding companies Publicis and Omnicom distracted competitors.
Dentsu has been on a busy deals streak of late as it seeks to bolster its presence beyond its home market. The company acquired U.K. media-buying company Aegis for $5 billion in 2012, one of the advertising industry’s biggest deals ever. Dentsu is now the fifth-largest agency holding company in the world and nearly half of its revenue comes from markets outside of Japan.
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