Omnicom Confirms Agency.com Acquisition

NEW YORK Omnicom has bought Agency.com from Seneca for an undisclosed sum, the holding company confirmed this morning on a conference call regarding its second-quarter earnings.

The acquisition comes two years after Omnicom transferred its i-shop investments, including a 35 percent stake in Agency.com, to Seneca in exchange for preferred stock in the firm. Seneca eventually assumed 100 percent ownership in Agency.com by purchasing its remaining shares and taking the publicly traded company private.

Agency.com chairman and CEO Chan Suh applauded the deal, saying that it gives the New York-based interactive shop additional financial security—an attractive selling point. “Clients who were hesitant to engage us or give us work, they can rest a little easier because we have the financial backing,” Suh told Adweek today. Some Agency.com clients include T-Mobile, Hewlett-Packard and British Airways.

The i-shop, which will remain a stand-alone unit, will now focus in part on “bringing the right proposition to other companies within Omnicom, so they’ll want to partner with us,” said Suh.

Omnicom purchased another Seneca holding, Organic, in a $106 million deal late last year. As to whether Agency.com and Organic would ever merge, Suh said, “I can’t see Omnicom dictating that. As long as each company continues to perform, there’s really no need to do that.” But, he added, “You never say ‘no’ in this business.”