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Top M&A deals of 2019

Campaign 18 Dec 2019 09:10

It has been another busy year for acquisitions across adland. While Publicis Groupe struck one of the industry’s biggest-ever deals this year, WPP made one of its biggest divestments, Accenture added an important string to its bow and Dentsu remained acquisitive despite global staff retrenchments. 

While privacy was a theme of 2019, marked by the dissemination of stringent privacy regulations across the world and a crackdown on big tech and ad-targeting, this did not stall agency investment in database companies, with data and analytics a common theme in merger and acquisition activity this year.

Here's a breakdown of the top M&A deals this year in the marketing world.

1 Mark Read sheds Kantar to simplify structure

Acquirer: Bain Capital
Acquired: Kantar

This was Mark Read's first year leading WPP after the exit of Sir Martin Sorrell in April 2018. Read immediately put into action a "radical" three-year plan (announced in December 2018) to sell non-core assets and return the world’s biggest advertising company to growth. 

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