gears-combine-acquisition-merger-ss-1920-800x450Covario, one of the very large search marketing agencies in the US with over 220* employees, has announced they will be acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network.

Dentsu Aegis Network is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company headquartered in London with around 23,000 employees.

The transaction includes Covario’s search and content marketing agency business, but not the software business, specifically their Rio SEO software. Rio SEO will become a separate independent software company, outside of the Covario brand. The Covario brand will be transitioned into iProspect, which is the search marketing agency brand of Dentsu Aegis Network.

Rio SEO also announced that Dema Zlotin, one of the original founders of Covario, will be joining the company as its chief executive officer to lead its next stage of growth.

The financial terms of the acquisition of Covario were not disclosed.

Eric Byunn, partner at FTV Capital, said, “Rio SEO has quickly become the dominant provider in local search software. We are excited to be backing a strong management team with a leading technology addressing a pressing need for local marketers.”

Bill Connard, vice president of local search solutions at Rio SEO, said, “Our recent expansion of international business listings management couldn’t have come at a better time. Working with an agency like Covario as it becomes part of the Dentsu Aegis Network’s iProspect global performance agency will expand our reach and help us deliver our local search expertise to customers around the world.”

Zlotin added, “I’m very impressed with Rio SEO’s product, technology, and the steps it has taken in recent years to become a leader in enterprise-scale search solutions. Our position in the marketplace coupled with massive growth within mobile, local, and social provides a path to quickly expand the business. I look forward to working with a talented team to provide innovative search solutions to its current customers and partner with the leading digital agencies to help them achieve success in search.”

Originally posted at Search Engine Land.