Acxiom acquires DMS, expands into Middle East-North Africa region

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Acxiom announced September 23 that it will acquire Direct Marketing Services (DMS), which has offices in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to extend the data marketing agency's footprint into the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of next month, were not disclosed.

“The MENA region is poised for pretty dramatic economic growth in the coming years,” said Jeff Standridge, VP of global operations at Acxiom. “Previously, we haven't been positioned to respond adequately to our current clients' desires to grow into that region.”

Yousef Hamidaddin, managing director of DMS, will serve as CEO of Acxiom MENA. Last October, Hamidaddin founded and became CEO of the Arab Direct Marketing Association. Alla Al-Shroogi will serve as president.

Standridge said the company will first supply Acxiom's data and direct marketing services to DMS' clients. The firm will also “reach out to our own clients to help them understand we're prepared to provide end-to-end direct marketing services within the Arab world,” he said.

Standridge added this venture is part of Acxiom's geographic growth strategy. DMS has offices in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai.

“We want to grow our global reach into geographies that are important to our clients,” he said. “We want to be able to equip those clients with the resources they need to grow, where they want to grow.”

Standridge added that DMS' client list consists of global and regional brands and is similar to Acxiom's. He cited CPG, telco, airlines, automotive and insurance clients as examples. He would not say which company initiated the deal, but he did disclose that the acquisition has been in the works for a few months.

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