Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) today announced it has agreed to acquire Flywheel Digital, the digital commerce business of Ascential (LSE: ASCL.L), for a net cash purchase price of approximately $835 million. Flywheel’s services enable top brands to sell more goods more efficiently across hundreds of digital marketplaces, such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba.
Since 2014, Flywheel has been at the forefront of digital commerce, developing a suite of best-in-class solutions specifically designed to accelerate sales for the world’s leading brands. With a workforce of more than 2,000 professionals, Flywheel provides services in retail commerce operations, media execution, and market intelligence to over 4500 brands. These services are reinforced by their advanced technology platform, Flywheel Commerce Cloud, which delivers near real-time insights to improve decision-making and boost sales.
John Wren, Chairman and CEO of Omnicom said, “E-commerce sales worldwide are set to increase by 50%, reaching about $7 trillion dollars by 2025. The acquisition of Flywheel significantly broadens our reach and influence in the rapidly expanding digital commerce and retail media sectors, two of the fastest-growing parts of the industry. Together, we will seamlessly integrate our offerings across retail and brand media, digital and in-store commerce, and CRM, ultimately delivering superior results for our clients.”
For the past eight years, Flywheel has assembled leading-edge digital commerce solutions and integrated them into a proprietary platform with a single user interface. Today, the Flywheel Commerce Cloud platform manages tens of billions in product sales and billions of advertising spend annually across digital marketplaces. Flywheel Commerce Cloud’s product and transaction data will be connected to Omni’s audience and behavioral data to provide unmatched insights and analytics.
Flywheel will operate as a Practice Area within Omnicom and will be led by Duncan Painter who currently serves as CEO of Ascential.
Painter stated, “By connecting Flywheel Commerce Cloud’s product and transaction data with Omni’s audience and behavioral data, we are poised to offer an end-to-end set of services that outpaces the competition. We aim to empower our clients to automate, optimize, and measure their digital commerce and media spend within an increasingly complex marketplace.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024 and is subject to Ascential shareholder approval, regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions.
Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Omnicom.
Omnicom has provided further detail on the acquisition in a presentation available and archived on its investor relations website.