Interpublic Group (IPG) announced Monday it has entered an agreement With Acxiom Corporation to acquire Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS) business unit.

Both companies' board of directors unanimously approved the acquisition, IPG officials said in a news release.

The cash transaction, valued at $2.3 billion or net $2 billion after consideration of an acquisition-related benefit of the tax step-up, is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. The transaction doesn't include Acxiom's LiveRamp division.

"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 CEO and Chairman Michael Roth said. "Combining AMS with a range of IPG assets will help us shape the future of our industry. Acxiom's leadership on data ethics is second to none, its business is solid and growing, and it has long played a foundational role in the marketing ecosystem.

"The company also boasts 2,100 associates with data and analytics skills that are at a premium in business today. Combined with IPG's world-class client roster, as well as our talented 50,000-person global workforce across media, advertising and marketing services, and you have an unrivaled offering.

"Over the last year of working closely with AMS to power our AMP data platform, we've seen that our cultures are a great fit, and we've also seen that the combination creates value for our clients, as it will for our shareholders."

Acxiom CEO Scott Howe said the acquisition will be a benefit to Acxiom, which is headquartered in Conway.

"This transaction is a great outcome for both Acxiom and our Acxiom Marketing Solutions business unit," said Acxiom Corporation CEO, Scott Howe. "Acxiom Marketing Solutions is a strong business with deep expertise in data-driven marketing, talented associates and a client roster that includes many of the world's leading companies. After careful consideration of a variety of options and potential partners, it became clear that a sale of AMS to IPG, with its scale and breadth of complementary services, represented the best possible path forward for our clients and associates."

Dennis Self and Rick Erwin will continue to serve as co-presidents of AMS, which will remain a stand-alone division, aligned with IPG Mediabrands, reporting into Arun Kumar, Chief Data and Marketing Technology Officer, IPG, according to the release.

In a presentation given Tuesday morning to IPG shareholders and later made public on its website, IPG representatives said there have been "major developments in the data landscape" over the past six months.

"Clients are increasingly seeking help in taking control of and maximizing the value of their first-party data," IPG officials said. "A foundational piece of the data ecosystem is in play. Our industry's approach to data needs to evolve accordingly."

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