ABS Capital Partners

ABS Portfolio Company Innovation Interactive Acquired by Dentsu Group

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 — Dentsu Inc. and Dentsu Holdings USA, Inc. today announced the acquisition by Dentsu Holdings USA of Innovation Interactive LLC, a leading provider of global services and technology for search marketing, social media and audience targeting.

Innovation Interactive consists of three operating units: 360i, an award-winning digital marketing agency; SearchIgnite, a leading paid search management technology; and Netmining, an audience optimization platform. The company, with 9 offices in 4 countries, will continue to operate under the leadership of co-CEOs Will Margiloff and Bryan Wiener, who will report to Tim Andree, President & CEO of Dentsu Holdings USA, Inc. and an Executive Officer of Dentsu Inc.

With Innovation Interactive’s industry-leading agency solutions and proprietary digital technologies, Dentsu will be able to bring enhanced integrated marketing solutions to its clients which include a roster of some of the world’s best-known, blue-chip brands. Innovation Interactive’s clients will now have the benefit of Dentsu’s extensive global resources, and it will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dentsu Holdings USA.

“We are pleased to have the strong management team and outstanding talent and technology of Innovation Interactive join the Dentsu Global Network,” said Dentsu President & CEO Tatsuyoshi Takashima. “This acquisition is continuing evidence of our determined pursuit of innovation in the digital and global arenas.”

“Our business philosophy puts the client at the epicenter of everything we do,” said Tim Andree, President & CEO, Dentsu Holdings USA, Inc. “Unmatched digital expertise, world class capabilities and proven performance are what led us to Innovation Interactive, but it is their unique culture, commitment to clients and industry leadership that make this marriage a true win-win. Will, Bryan and I have spent nearly a year walking in each other’s shoes, and the farther we walked, the more clearly we saw compatibilities that would result in a higher value proposition for our clients. We share the same passion for client-centric operations and continual innovation for some of the largest brands in the world.”
Margiloff said, “Innovation Interactive has long fostered a culture of entrepreneurialism, which has been fueled via our independence. Throughout the past year of talking with Dentsu, we’ve found a partner that will ensure we retain our innovative spirit, adding global reach and resources to invigorate our strong ethos for our clients.”

“What excites me the most about this partnership is the complementary strengths of Dentsu’s agencies,” remarked Wiener. “As we continue to innovate within digital marketing, we will also gain considerable knowledge and context by working with award-winning agencies like mcgarrybowen and ATTIK to bring integrated strategic solutions to large brand marketers across all consumer touch points.”

Andree, who joined Dentsu Inc. in 2006 as CEO of U.S. operations, was given responsibility for Europe and the Americas in 2008.  During his tenure, the agency has added ATTIK (San Francisco and London-based digital and design agency) and mcgarrybowen (New York and Chicago-based advertising agency and AdAge’s 2009 “Agency of the Year”), significantly enhancing its presence and capabilities outside Japan.  Underscoring Dentsu’s commitment to globalization, Andree was named the company’s first non-Japanese Executive Officer in 2008.

“Today’s announcement further validates our commitment to our clients, by expanding our global capabilities in digital marketing and increasing our presence in the Americas and Europe,” added Andree. “I am confident we have substantially enhanced our ability to provide a superior client experience with the acquisition of Innovation Interactive. This fits precisely the profile of Dentsu’s globalization and digitalization plans to drive our expansion and growth.”