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Dentsu Aegis Network to acquire majority stake in data-analytics firm Ugam
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London-based Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd has acquired a majority stake in India-based Ugam Interactive Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a data and analytics company.

Ugam will join Merkle, a US-based technology-enabled marketing agency in which Dentsu acquired a majority stake in 2016, according to a press statement.

Dentsu, part of Japanese advertising group Dentsu Inc., did not disclose the deal value. However, it said that Ugam represents one of the largest transactions in Merkle’s history.

Ugam’s business will be integrated with that of Merkle’s and the company will be rebranded as Ugam, a Merkle company. Ugam will continue to be led by its co-founder and chief executive officer Sunil Mirani. Mirani will report to Merkle Americas’ president Craig Dempster.

“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,” said Dempster.

Founded in 2000, Ugam offers both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) solutions to its enterprise clients. Its analytical sophistication, proprietary frameworks and tools will add new capabilities to Merkle’s existing service lines, the firm said.

The stake purchase in Ugam is the fifth transaction in 12 months for Merkle and the thirteenth since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in 2016.

Dentsu acquired Singapore-based digital marketing agency Happy Marketer Group earlier this year. Established in 2009, Happy Marketer has digital marketing delivery centres in Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Mumbai, with over 40 employees. Some of Happy Marketer’s clients in India include Practo, Urban Ladder, Standard Chartered Bank, and Amity University.

Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of 10 global network brands -- Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum. The company is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 47,000 employees.

Dentsu has been expanding in India with the help of acquisitions. The company had acquired a majority stake in Pune-based digital marketing and analytics provider Sokrati Technologies Pvt. Ltd in July 2017.

In April 2017, Dentsu bought Gurugram-based SVG Media Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between Manish Vij’s Vun Network and Harish Bahl’s Smile Group, for nearly $130 million.

In December 2016, Dentsu had acquired Mumbai-based Fractal Ink Design Studio Pvt. Ltd, a service provider in the user interface and user experience domains. The deal was pegged at Rs 215-300 crore. In the same year, the company purchased public relations firm Perfect Relations.

In 2015, Dentsu bought Mumbai-based events agency Fountainhead Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. In the same year, the company agreed to buy a 90% stake in WAT Media Pvt. Ltd, which operated a full-service digital agency under the brand WATConsult.

In 2012, Dentsu acquired a 51% stake in Mumbai-based advertising agency Taproot India Communication Pvt. Ltd.

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