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Dentsu Announces Agreement to Acquire Digital Marketing Performance Agency Darwin in China

  • Investor Relations
  • International

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March 30, 2016

Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo: 4324; ISIN: JP3551520004; President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 74,609.81 million yen) announced today that its global business headquarters Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. has reached an agreement with the principal shareholders of digital marketing performance agency Darwin Marketing Limited (Head Office: Shanghai; hereinafter "Darwin") to acquire the company.

Founded in 2006, at the dawn of the digital advertising era in China, Darwin was one of the first digital agencies to set up operations. The company's strengths include search engine marketing (SEM) and other digital advertising services in the performance domain as well as word-of-mouth advertising using social media. Darwin's advanced services have earned it a high reputation not only among local companies but also a large number of global companies.

Post-acquisition, Darwin will be integrated with digital performance agency iProspect, one of the Dentsu Group's nine global network brands*, and will work with other Group companies in China to create synergies. This acquisition will see 150 search and performance specialists come together to further strengthen the operation in China.

In its September 2015 worldwide advertising expenditure forecasts, the Dentsu Group's media communications agency Carat announced that digital advertising expenditures in China grew 35.0% in 2014. China is said to be experiencing an economic slowdown but strong growth is expected to continue, with an increase of 28.5% forecast for 2015 and 29.0% for 2016. Digital is expected to account for one quarter of China's total advertising expenditures in 2016.

The impact of this transaction on Dentsu's consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016 is expected to be minimal.

*Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., the Dentsu Group's global business headquarters based in London, is expanding the Group's business worldwide through nine global network brands--Carat, Dentsu (Dentsu Branded Agencies), Dentsu media, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum--as well as through several specialist/multi-market brands.

Profile of Darwin
Company Name:     Darwin Marketing Limited
Location:    Shanghai, China
Date of Establishment:    June 2006
Shareholding Ratio*:     Dentsu Aegis Network 100%
                                       *After acquisition has been completed
Revenue:    Approximately CNY 18.15 million (year ended December 2014)
Representatives:     T. R. Harrington (CEO)
                                   Kenneth Cheung (Vice President of Operations)
Number of Employees:    80
Line of Business:     Digital advertising services with a focus on the performance marketing domain


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