Dentsu Aegis Network to acquire Covario’s search and content marketing agency business

Dentsu Aegis Network today announces the signing of an agreement to acquire Covario’s search and content marketing agency business.

Covario is an independent search and content performance marketing agency, with a standalone  SEO software unit, headquartered in San Diego, California. The firm has more than 140 professionals who provide paid and organic search, social media, and content marketing agency services to global brands and leading direct marketing clients.

Covario’s Rio SEO software unit, which offers award-winning local SEO, enterprise search, and social media automation and analytic tools, will remain independent following the transaction and will continue to work with clients where it has an existing relationship.

Following the completion of the deal, Covario’s agency business will become part of Dentsu Aegis Network, and will transition toward operating as iProspect – Dentsu Aegis Network’s global digital performance agency – over the coming months. The acquisition marks the coming together of two award-winning agencies, both powerhouses in SEO, paid search, content marketing and digital performance. With the strength of leadership on both sides, the collective experience across multiple client industry verticals, and the partnerships each shares with some of the world’s biggest brands, this acquisition marks a significant step forward for all involved.

“This acquisition represents another important development for Dentsu Aegis Network in the U.S.,” said Nigel Morris, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Americas & EMEA. “We have a very clear strategy for the capabilities and agencies we bring into our operating model.  Covario is uniquely suited to complement and scale iProspect’s outstanding offering as the world’s leading digital performance agency.

“As points of engagement and transaction come closer together, it is crucial for our clients to have a dominant position in all key areas of the consumer journey.  This acquisition further realises our network’s vision and commitment to helping brands innovate effectively in the convergent market.”

“With marketers looking to search, social and mobile as core tenets of their advertising strategies, the combination of iProspect and Covario creates a uniquely powerful and compelling offer fit for today’s market demands. Culturally we are kindred spirits, which when united, will create one dynamo agency poised to make waves in the market,” said Jeremy Cornfeldt, President, iProspect US.  “Covario’s San Diego-based headquarters also provides a powerful West Coast presence that is critical for iProspect’s growth,” he added.

In a joint statement, Michael Gullaksen and Jeff Johnson, Co-CEOs of Covario, commented, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with iProspect and to be a part of the growing Dentsu Aegis Network. We were immensely impressed by the network’s vision, as well as iProspect’s key role in bringing that vision to life. Having built one of the top independent search marketing agencies, and now backed by the global resources, power and talent of Dentsu Aegis Network, we are poised to take our combined offering to the next level at scale.”

Both Gullaksen and Johnson will have key senior executive positions in the combined Covario / iProspect organisation moving forward, complementing an already powerful iProspect management team.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in Q4 2014.

For further information contact:

Belle Lenz
Communications Director, Americas
T: +1 646-742-5029
E: belle.lenz@dentsuaegis.com

Louise Evans
Global Director of Communications
T: +44 7920 492400
E: louise.evans@dentsuaegis.com

Notes to Editors:

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of eight global network brands – Carat, Dentsu, Dentsu media, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands including Amnet, Amplifi, Data2Decisions, Mitchell Communications (PR), psLIVE and 360i. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 110 countries worldwide with over 23,000 dedicated specialists. www.dentsuaegisnetwork.com

About Covario

Covario is a leading independent search and content marketing agency.  The firm was selected by OMMA magazine as the Search Agency of the Year a record three years in a row from 2011 to 2013. It was also ranked in 2013 by Advertising Age magazine among the nation’s Top 10 search agencies. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm also has team members located in Beijing, Chicago, London, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, and elsewhere around the world. The firm’s customer base includes global leaders in technology, consumer electronics, financial services, retail, ecommerce, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods. Its investors include FTV Capital, Dubilier & Co., Voyager Capital, and Stratim Capital. More information is available at http://www.Covario.com.