Dentsu to buy Aegis for £3.2bn

City A.M. Reporter
Dentsu has agreed to buy British marketing group Aegis for £3.2bn in a bid to combine the Japanese firm's strong presence in Asia with the British group's footprint in Europe and digital services.

Dentsu said it had agreed to pay 240 pence for each Aegis share, a 48 per cent premium to the closing price on Wednesday, and that the offer would be recommended by Aegis directors.

Dentsu said it had already purchased or had irrevocable undertakings in relation to around 30 per cent of Aegis' stock, including shares from the group's largest shareholder Vincent Bollore.

The group sold its Synovate market research unit last year and had performed strongly since, taking market share off rivals in Asia, North America and within the digital division.

"Dentsu and Aegis will be the market leader in the Asia-Pacific region, enjoying a strong presence across Europe and the fastest growing agency network in the US," President and CEO of Dentsu, Tadashi Ishii, said.

"In recent years, under the leadership of Jerry Buhlmann and his team, Aegis has been recognised as the most successful independent media and digital communications agency with strong performance momentum and talented, client-focused employees."

Aegis said in March it expected to outperform rivals and drive profits further ahead in 2012 after record numbers of new clients in the US, China and Brazil helped it to beat 2011 revenue targets.