Publicis acquires Epsilon for $3.95bn

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 15 April 2019
Arthur Sadoun at Cannes Lions

Publicis Groupe has revealed it has entered into an agreement to acquire international data business Epsilon for a net purchase price of US$3.95 billion.

The data platform is currently owned by Alliance Data Systems, with Publicis adding that it has plans to continue to build a strategic partnership with the parent company following the acquisition.

Publicis says the deal is part of the group's broader strategy to enhance its data-driven personalised experience offering at scale.

“Our clients are facing increasing pressure from the rise in consumer expectations, the mainstreaming of direct-to-consumer brands and new data regulations," Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun says.

"The only response is to deliver personalised experiences at scale. They have to transform to meet this new market imperative.

"With the acquisition of Epsilon, Publicis Groupe is bringing the necessary technology, expertise and the talent to complement our offer in creativity, media and business transformation, and help our clients leapfrog their competition and grow profitably."

Sadoun added that the deal will "turbo charge" the company's transformation and accelerate its plans to develop a complete end-to-end client offering.

Epsilon currently allows businesses to onboard and enhance the use of first-party data, build brand unique ID customer profiles and "activate data" to execute multichannel campaigns at scale, tapping into its real-time optimisation and measurement capabilities.

According to Publicis, these capabilities, once integrated into the business will make the holding group the "first palter" to offer a "unique end-to-end service".

On the creative side of the business, Epsilon's assets will be used to provide improved customer insights around ideation, as well as building more relevant campaigns.

When it comes to media agencies, the connection between Epsilon’s data sets and Publicis Media’s "billions of touchpoints" will provide "superior intelligence" to build consumer IDs, segment audiences and maximise media buying ROI by measuring and optimising campaigns in real time.

"During extensive discussions with the Publicis leadership team during the recent review process, we found powerful common ground, including shared values and a strong vision for the future of data-driven, digital-first marketing," Epsilon CEO Bryan Kennedy says.

"Our discussions illuminated the unmistakable market opportunity that combining our complementary offerings would represent. I strongly believe that joining Publicis will benefit Epsilon and Conversant’s people and bring great value and new opportunity to the clients we serve.”

Last week Publicis revealed it would also be rebranding its 'digital transformation business' Publicis Sapient, retiring its legacy brands in Australia.

Publicis Media's investment arm Publicis Media Exchange also bolstered its position in market last week following the announcement of three new hires, with the intention of driving "further convergence in trading".

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