Publicis to acquire Razorfish

PARIS: Publicis Groupe will acquire Microsoft's digital marketing agency Razorfish for about $530 million. The deal is expected to close during Q4 2009.

PARIS: Publicis Groupe will acquire Microsoft's digital marketing agency Razorfish for about $530 million. The deal is expected to close during Q4 2009.

Razorfish will continue to operate under its brand name within VivaKi, which was launched in June 2008 and spans across Publicis' digital assets such as Digitas. Razorfish's management team will also remain in place, led by CEO Bob Lord. Razorfish's clients include Best Buy, Ford, and McDonald's.

"When we complete this transaction, approximately a quarter of our annual revenues will come from digital communications, and we believe we have more capacity to grow with new clients," said Publicis chairman and CEO, Maurice Levy in a statement.

The companies have also entered into a strategic alliance agreement that will be effective at the close of the transaction. The alliance expands upon an agreement announced in June and states that Razorfish will continue to be Microsoft's preferred provider for digital strategy, and creative and experiential marketing services. According to the statement, the agreement "contains a commitment by Microsoft to spend a minimum amount for those services each year" during the five-year agreement.

Jim Tsokanos, MS&L's North America president, said the deal provides the firm with an "unequaled opportunity in the marketplace."

"It creates an offering in social media that has true global scale," he added. "We're uniquely positioned to take social media to new levels."

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