The latest example was enterprise giant Oracle’s acquisition of Datalogix, a company not entirely unlike dunnhumby. It partners with myriad retailers and third-party data providers to measure the effect of digital channels on in-store sales uplift.
In dunnhumby’s case, Reuters reported in the fall private equity firm TPG’s interest in the company. The latest name to enter the mix is agency holding company WPP Group, which may be gunning for a US$3 billion buyout of the business, reported The Drum.
Ironically, WPP’s outspoken CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, called dunnhumby a “competitor” to his agency conglomerate during Advertising Week 2013.
“It’s the retailers who have the connection or thinking to develop the data,” Sorrell said onstage at the IAB MIXX conference, as AdExchanger reported. He heralded how agency holding companies today aren’t only competing directly with one another, they’re competing also with data companies, research firms and the retailers themselves.
Dunnhumby works with more than 20 retail partners and has net profits of $151 million, according to Tesco’s annual corporate statement. If WPP moved in on dunnhumby for the rumored amount, the deal would be similar in size and scope to Publicis Groupe’s pricy $3.7 billion SapientNitro buy.
Both dunnhumby and WPP declined to comment for this story.