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Social-Marketing Agency TheAudience Acquired by Dubai Conglomerate AAHG

Al Ahli Holding Group, a diversified conglomerate based in Dubai, has acquired theAudience, a social-media and digital content marketing agency.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TheAudience, which has about 75 employees and will remain based in Los Angeles, syndicates more than 5,000 pieces of branded content per month that it claims reaches more than 1 billion consumers. The company says it manages a network of 6,000 celebrities and influencers.

Customers of theAudience have included Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, as well as American Express, McDonald’s, Unilever and Ford.

Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG) said it plans to use theAudience as “a connective tissue” across the 30 companies in its portfolio, which span live events, media production, sports and fitness, lifestyle and consumer products, as well as other sectors including real estate, construction, and trading, technology and logistics.

“Acquiring theAudience is in line with our long-term global diversification plan and will be key to the international expansion of our rapidly growing lifestyle, entertainment and digital-media portfolio,” AAHG CEO Mohammed Khammas said in announcing the deal.

Oliver Luckett, CEO of theAudience, will remain head of the company. Luckett co-founded the company with Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president and the inventor of Napster; and Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME. Guggenheim Partners and Participant Media also were investors. Luckett’s previous ventures included DigiSynd, a digital marketing and syndication startup, which the Walt Disney Co. acquired in 2008.

Following the completion of AAHG’s acquisition, theAudience will focus on “audience-driven events and artist development,” according to Khammas.

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