Japanese advertising giant Dentsu said on Wednesday it has completed a 3.16 billion pound ($4.8 billion) takeover of British media group Aegis after regulators approved the deal.
Dentsu said Aegis was now a wholly owned subsidiary that would continue operating under its banner, with the combined group having operations in more than 100 countries and employing more than 36,000 people.
Last year, Dentsu said it had agreed to buy Aegis in a surprise deal that will create a new global player to compete against the likes of advertising titans Omnicom, Publicis and WPP.
The pair had initially hoped to seal the agreement before the end of 2012 but regulatory delays held up the process, with Chinese watchdogs taking longer than expected to issue approval.
The acquisition also needed approval from seven other countries, including Britain, the United States, Germany and South Africa.
Some observers had speculated the holdup from Chinese regulators was tied to a tense territorial spat between Beijing and Tokyo over an island chain in the East China Sea.
Apparent delays from Chinese regulators over other deals involving Japanese firms heightened those suspicions.