Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired India-based data and analytics agency Sokrati, backing the launch of its global performance marketing agency Merkle in Asia Pacific.

The move will see the agency rebranded as Merkle | Sokrati.

Dentsu will merge the Pune-headquartered media and digital marketing communications company with its existing agency to build on Sokrati’s offering in search and performance, display and video, social, retargeting and product ads.

Taking up the role of the executive officer of the transformed agency will be Sokrati’s co-founder Anubhav Sonthalia. Together with Ashish Mehta and Santosh Gannavarapu, he founded the firm in 2009, which currently employs 120 digital marketing professionals.

Focus on India

The acquisition follows a buyout of an 89% stake in one of India’s biggest digital agencies, SVG Media, in a deal estimated to be worth $110-150 million in April this year. The business will be fused with Dentsu’s agency Columbus to become SVG Columbus, marking further expansion efforts in the region.

Although the financial details of the Sokrati transaction haven’t been disclosed, industry publications such as the Times of India have estimated the deal to be worth between Rs 700 and Rs 800 crore (approximately £83-95 million). The transaction is expected to be finalised this week.

The acquisition marks the eighth digital agency under the Dentsu name, which is now 25-strong in total.