Publicis Group has reportedly acquired data marketing firm Epsilon for $4.4 billion, making it the French advertising holding company’s biggest acquisition to date. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

Having been in talks with Alliance Data Systems the last couple of weeks, the deal which now seems to be formally approved will bolster efforts by the third’s largest advertising agency to adapt to a fast-changing market which continues to be driven by online data-driven data.

“With the acquisition of Epsilon, Publicis Groupe is bringing the necessary technology, expertise and the talent to complement our offer in creativity, media and business transformation, and help our clients leapfrog their competition and grow profitably,” Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun said in a statement, adding that the deal would help Publicis “deliver personalised experiences at scale” for its clients.

Under the transaction terms, the holding company will acquire Epsilon for the amount of $4.4 billion, representing a net purchase price of $3.95 billion “after deducting the benefit of acquisition-related tax step-up, as told in a statement.

The Epsilon sale is certainly breaking news when it comes to agency deals in recent times, coming close to Dentsu Inc.’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Aegis Group in 2013 and WPP’s $4.37 billion purchase of Young & Rubicam in 2000.

The deal is aimed at helping Publicis Groupe more actively compete in data-driven marketing alongside competitors Omnicom, WPP and Dentsu. In a statement, Epsilon generated revenue of $1.9 billion last year.

CJ Affiliate is currently part of Alliance Data Systems, alongside marketing powerhouse, Epsilon, and sister company, Conversant. When asked about the latest acquisition of Epsilon, the affiliate network told PerformanceIN there is “no comment” at present following the headlines.

Discussing the acquisition, CEO and founder of mobile data and advertising company LoopMe, Stephen Upstone said: ”Publicis’ acquisition of Epsilon is a bold but positive move, which highlights the increasingly vital role that technology and data are playing in the advertising industry. It is the latest example of a trend of data-driven acquisitions and comes off the back of IPG’s deal for Axicom towards the end of last year, as more advertisers look to make data-led campaigns a fundamental part of their strategy. It is clear that we are rapidly entering into an era where transparent measurement of impact on marketing outcomes is not only possible but essential for success.”