Advantage sells digital marketing agency Adlucent as part of plan to simplify portfolio

peter frost

Advantage Solutions today said it has sold digital marketing agency Adlucent to BarkleyOKRP, the latest step in the company’s efforts to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core businesses. 

Terms of the sale, which closed today, were not disclosed. Advantage said it plans to use the majority of the proceeds to pay down debt and further strengthen its financial position. 

“While Adlucent has built strong partnerships and relationships with leading digital platforms, brands and retailers, we believe the agency will be in a better position to succeed within a digital-focused independent agency like BarkleyOKRP,” said Advantage Solutions CEO Dave Peacock, in a release. “This deal allows Advantage to further prioritize other growth efforts in a more focused way to ensure we continue to provide our clients with best-in-class services.”

Adlucent, which provides performance media activation across most major paid channels, including search, social, CTV and others, has built business relationships with top platforms, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Meta. While it has direct relationships with large brands and retailers, Adlucent clients are largely distinct from Advantage’s core.

“We’re proud of the work Adlucent accomplished under Advantage, and we’re confident the Adlucent team will go on to even more success with BarkleyOKRP,” Peacock said.  

As part of the deal, Austin, Texas-based Adlucent, a performance media business Advantage acquired in 2016, will integrate into BarkleyOKRP, one of the largest independent full-service marketing and consulting firms in the U.S. Some 180 Adlucent employees will move into BarkleyOKRP’s broader media practice, and Ashwani Dhar, Adlucent’s CEO, will become chief performance officer at BarkleyOKRP. 

Jeff King, CEO of BarkleyOKRP, said in a release that the Adlucent acquisition “supports our strategic vision to scale integrated media capabilities, expand technology and grow our media team to more than 250 experts, driving consumer engagement and ROI for our clients.”

The sale is Advantage’s latest business initiative focused on its broader plan to simplify its portfolio, allowing greater focus on the company’s core capabilities to build a stronger balance sheet and enable growth. 

It follows a series of deals completed over the last six months, including the January sale of its collection of foodservice businesses, the December restructuring of its joint venture operating in Europe and the sale of Atlas Technology Group in October. 

“While it’s never easy to part ways with valued and talented teammates, simplifying our business to sharpen our focus on serving clients and customers in our core business is imperative,” Peacock said.