August 10, 2009

French media giant to buy Razorfish

French communications giant Publicis Group SA said it would purchase Microsoft's digital advertising business Razorfish for $530 million.

In a statement, Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive officer of Publicis, said adding the agency to its roster was another step forward in realizing our strategic view of building a world leader in digital communications.

When the deal is completed, approximately a quarter of our annual revenues will come from digital communications, he said.

Microsoft bought Razorfish when it acquired aQuantive in 2007 for $6 billion, the Seattle Times reported Monday.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he was grateful for the contributions Razorfish has made to our online advertising business.

But Razorfish chief strategy officer Jeff Lanctot said, Razorfish was seen as valuable but the deal was made to get (two other aQuantive divisions) Atlas and Drive Performance Media; those remain within Microsoft.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, the companies said in a joint statement.