Dentsu plans to acquire digital marketing agency AKQA

MUMBAI: Japanese advertising agency Dentsu is planning to make a bid for acquiring San Francisco-headquartered global digital agency network AKQA for $600 million.

According to media reports, the Japanese ad giant, which is on an expansion spree, wants to boost its presence in the US and UK markets.
UK-based The Guardian reported that Dentsu is understood to have put in a “pre-emptive bid for AKQA which its owners are putting up for sale.”

Founded by Ajaz Ahmed in 1995 in UK, AKQA is a creative agency specialising in interactive marketing. With over 800 employees worldwide, it has offices in London, New York, Washington D.C, Amsterdam, Berlin and Shanghai.
AKQA boasts of a client base that includes Coca-Cola, Fiat, McDonald‘s, Nike, Virgin, ESPN, GAP and Visa. One of the company‘s most visible non-advertising projects was the design of the user interface for the Xbox 360video game console.

The private equity firm General Atlantic acquired a majority stake in the company in 2007. As per Guardian report, “General Atlantic is in favour of the deal but chairman Ahmed and CEO Tom Bedecarre, who own about 10 per cent, are not so sure about the tie-up.”
Meanwhile, in a reply to New Media Age, Ahmed said, “We get offers all the time. In the past five years, there hasn’t been a week gone by when we haven’t been approached by people looking to buy us."

"I think the reason that people have appreciated us is that we have doubled in size during a period when it’s been pretty tough for the ad industry as a whole (the past two years),” he added.

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