Publicis Groupe acquires Epsilon in $4.4 billion deal

Publicis Groupe is acquiring data marketing giant Epsilon in a $4.4 billion deal, the holding company announced Sunday.

Epsilon, which has been owned by Irving, Texas-based Alliance Data Systems since 2004, is ranked as the world’s 13th-largest agency company, according to Ad Age Datacenter.

Bryan Kennedy, CEO of Epsilon, in a statement said: "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."

The transaction comes as Publicis grapples with changes in the ad market amid the decline of traditional advertising, shifts in digital, cost pressure from clients and competitive challenges from consultancies.

Publicis Spine, which handles the sort of data assets that Epsilon brings to the table, is another obvious, more appealing fit, Pattisall says.

Generally speaking, Epsilon makes its money through its data management offering, its loyalty platform and, to an extent, Conversant, an ad tech company that specializes in marketing automation.

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