Bain buys ADK from WPP after sale completed

Bain Capital has completed its acquisition of the Japanese advertising agency Asatsu-DK, buying 87 per cent of its shares.

ADK President Shinichi Ueno

The Boston-based company finalised its tender offer for Japan’s third-biggest ad agency in a deal valued at US$1.35 billion.

When Bain first announced its bid for ADK, the agency’s largest shareholder, WPP, accused the company of “significantly undervaluing” it share price.

The world’s biggest advertising holding company, which held 25 per cent of ADK’s shares, publicly accused the agency of improperly attempt[ing] to terminate its co-operation and business alliance agreement with WPP” despite “knowing full well that it cannot”.

Following the completion, Shinichi Ueno, president and group CEO at ADK, 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.”

Yuji Sugimoto, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity, added: “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.”


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