The French advertising group Publicis said Sunday it would buy the digital advertising agency Razorfish from Microsoft for 530 million dollars (380 million euros).
"The acquisition of Razorfish is another step forward in realizing our strategic vision of building a world leader in digital communications," chairman and chief executive officer Maurice Levy said in a statement.
The US software giant will after the sale of Razorfish hold three percent of the capital of Publicis, the world's fourth-largest ad group, and thus become one of its main shareholders, Levy added in a conference call.
Publicis also said in its statement that it would be boosting the global strategic partnership with Microsoft it had announced in June to develop online advertising.
Microsoft acquired Seattle-based Razorfish, whose major clients include Ford, McDonald?s, and Starwood Hotels, two years ago as part of its six billion-dollar purchase of digital marketing concern aQuantive.
It approached the world's biggest advertising companies about Razorfish before deciding to sell it to Publicis.
The sale is expected to close before the end of the year and is set to be paid in a combination of cash and delivery of 6.5 million Publicis Groupe treasury shares, the French company said.
Razorfish will continue to operate under its brand name.
Two and a half years after buying the American firm Digitas, Publicis is with the purchase of Razorfish continuing its push into the digital sector.
(c) 2009 AFP
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