Dentsu Aegis Network is continuing to beef up its data-driven powerhouse Merkle with the acquisition of a leading South Asian insights business, in a move designed to bring scale to Merkle’s analytics operation as well as boost its M1 media activation platform.
The deal for Ugam – which was launched in Mumbai in 2000 and now has 1,800 staff in India, the US, and Australia – represents one of the largest transactions in Merkle’s history, although financial details have not been disclosed.
This is the fifth transaction in 12 months for Merkle and the 13th since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in 2016.
Although Ugam’s client list is shrouded in secrecy, it works for five of the top 10 American retailers, four of the leading Australian retailers, many of the world’s largest brands and online marketplaces, including 75 of the Fortune 500.
It is claimed that Ugam’s data solutions – which include retail analytics, survey analytics, technology implementation, data engineering, and digital product content solutions – are highly complementary to Merkle’s existing capabilities.
The business will now become Ugam, a Merkle Company, but will continue to be led by co-founder and chief executive Sunil Mirani with the rest of the management team of Ugam remaining unchanged.
Mirani will report to Merkle Americas president Craig Dempster, who said: “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.
“With its experienced management team, highly-educated workforce, scale, and vertical market expertise, Ugam will bring high-end analytics capabilities, along with a broad spectrum of analytical decision support.”
Mirani added: “We have found the perfect partner in Merkle. We complement each other’s strengths, with Ugam bringing advanced analytics capabilities at scale, and Merkle bringing a diverse client base. Most importantly, the cultural fit was evident from day one, and the effects will be immensely positive for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, and shareholders. This deal marks a significant milestone in Ugam’s journey, and I look forward to this new phase with renewed vigour.”
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