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Interpublic Group to buy Acxiom's marketing solutions unit for $2.3B

Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc. has agreed to acquire Acxiom Corp.'s Marketing Solutions business unit in a cash deal worth about $2.3 billion.

The purchase price represents a multiple of 11.5x Acxiom Marketing Solutions' 2018 estimated EBITDA, net of the benefit of the tax step-up. Interpublic said July 2 it has a fully committed $2.3 billion bridge facility and is expecting to obtain long-term financing to finance the deal in the debt capital markets before closing.

The transaction does not include Acxiom Corp.'s LiveRamp Inc. business.

As part of the deal, the Acxiom brand name will become part of the Interpublic portfolio. Dennis Self and Rick Erwin will continue to serve as co-presidents of Acxiom Marketing Solutions, which will remain a stand-alone division, aligned with IPG Mediabrands, reporting to Arun Kumar, chief data and marketing technology officer of IPG.

The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to complete before year-end, subject to approval by Acxiom's stockholders, as well as customary regulatory approvals. IPG expects the deal to be accretive in the first year after close on an adjusted EPS basis.

"In a world where everything is becoming data-driven, Acxiom Marketing Solutions offers the deepest set of capabilities for helping companies navigate the complexity of creating personalized brand experiences across every consumer touchpoint," IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth said in a statement. "Combining AMS with a range of IPG assets will help us shape the future of our industry."

Citi and J.P. Morgan are serving as financial advisers and providing committed debt financing, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP serves as legal adviser to Interpublic on the transaction.