This transaction comes at a time when advertising agencies are suffering from competition from large digital platforms.
Publicis announced on Sunday, April 14, to have reached an agreement with the American group Alliance Data Systems (ADS) to buy Epsilon, its subsidiary specialized in marketing and data, for $ 4.4 billion (about $ 3.9 billion). euros).
View as "A unique opportunity" Publicis faces the changes in the advertising sector, and this acquisition was unanimously approved by its management board and supervisory board, a statement said. She "Accelerates the implementation of Publicis Groupe's strategy of becoming the preferred partner of its customers in their transformation".
Epsilon, "Rich in unmatched data heritage", according to Publicis, has "Generated $ 1.9 billion in net revenues, of which 97% in the United States" in 2018 and employs some 9,000 employees, including 3,700 data scientists ("Data scientists") and 2,000 engineers located in Bangalore (India).
This transaction comes as advertising agencies such as Publicis suffer from competition from large digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook, that target advertisers directly.
"Data is at the heart of all decisions"
Publicis promises progression "Double digit" And this "From 2020" for net earnings per share and free cash flow per share.
The operation should be finalized "In the second half of 2019" and will be financed by debt and using "A portion of available cash". The group is counting on "Complete deleveraging" four years after the closing of the transaction.
The transaction was concluded "Attractive terms"says Publicis. It is however "A huge investment for a company of our size"admits Arthur Sadoun, chairman of the executive board, quoted in the statement.
"But we are convinced that this is the right move to best serve our customers in a world where data is at the heart of all decisions and where the first screen has become our mobile. "
For Maurice Lévy, Chairman of the Publicis Supervisory Board, this acquisition "Accelerates the transformation" of the French group while generating "A value creation that is largely beneficial" to shareholders. At the same time, Publicis announces "Strategic partnership" with Alliance Data, whose CEO, Edward J. Heffernan, says the two groups "Share the same culture and the same strategic vision".