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ADK breaks ties with WPP, acquired by Bain Capital

WPP had 25 per cent share in ADK and initially opposed Bain Capital’s move to buy the stake. ADK is the third largest advertising agency in Japan by market share

Bain Capital Private Equity and Asatsu-DK (ADK) have announced that Bain Capital has successfully acquired an 87.05 per cent stake in ADK. As announced on October 2, 2017, Bain Capital launched the tender offer to acquire the common shares of ADK with a view to privatising the business and delisting it from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

ADK is the third largest advertising agency in Japan by market share, with a client base across multiple sectors. Building on the company’s successful track record in its traditional advertising business, ADK has developed a highly competitive offer in its unique content business, including market leading animation capabilities.

WPP had 25 per cent share in ADK and was initially opposing Bain Capital’s move to buy the stake in Japan’s (ADK). There on, the advertising giant proposed to raise its stake to 33 per cent.

After this deal, Bain Capital Private Equity and ADK will actively invest in core areas of future business expansion, including digital, data and the content business, which will enable the company to adapt to the evolving advertising market both in Japan and overseas. In order to provide its clients with leading solutions, ADK will adopt an open network model that will allow it to affiliate with the most appropriate partners in each business area.

Yuji Sugimoto, Managing Director, Bain Capital Private Equity, said, “Today’s successful tender offer marks an important step in the right direction for ADK as we move closer to privatising the business in order to better secure its future in a fast-changing market. This is also a very positive outcome for ADK’s shareholders, who have been able to realise attractive value through our fully priced offer. We look forward to working closely with ADK’s management over the coming months to accelerate its transformation efforts while we continue to work towards the end goal of privatising the business so it can realise its full potential more quickly.”

Shinichi Ueno, President and Group CEO at Asatsu-DK Inc, said, “To continue delivering leading data driven marketing solutions for our clients and to truly become a consumer activation company, we have long believed that ADK needed the financial and strategic flexibility that can only be achieved through becoming a private business. Today’s successful tender offer close is an important milestone in ADK’s growth story and we are confident that Bain Capital is the right partner to take us through this next phase of transformation. We are grateful for the support of our shareholders over the years, and now look forward to starting work on transforming the business alongside Bain Capital.”

At the expiration of the tender offer period on December 6, 2017, a total of 36,233,119 ADK shares were tendered, corresponding to 87.05 per cent of the total shares outstanding, surpassing the 20,785,200 (50.1 per cent) minimum required. Under the terms of the tender offer, ADK shareholders who have tendered their shares will receive 3,660 JPY per share on or after December 13, 2017, which is when settlement is expected to occur.

Bain Capital Private Equity has a large presence in Japan with deep market knowledge and extensive local networks, and has supported the domestic and global expansion of businesses that offer services to corporate clients, including Macromill and BellSystem24. The firm’s expertise in driving operational improvement strategies has made Bain Capital Private Equity a valued partner for Japanese companies.

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