Posts tagged 'publicis'

Muddled Men

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Publicis and Interpublic – a swan song for Levy? (Updated)

UPDATE:  Publicis on Sunday formally denied that it has held any discussions with Interpublic, adding that it had not commissioned any bank to pursue such talks.

Apologies, but our usually knowledgeable sources turned out to be lacking on this occasion. Read more

Aegis in talks to sell Synovate

Ipsos, the French market research group, has made an unsolicited approach for Synovate, which could value Aegis Group’s research unit at about £500m, reports the FT. Talks are at a very early stage, say people close to the situation. Any deal, if it were made, is likely to be months away. Analyst reports have put the estimated value of the unit at about £500m Aegis is expected to issue a statement on Monday to the London Stock Exchange confirming weekend media reports. UBS is advising Ipsos while Greenhill, Aegis’ long-term adviser, is working for the UK-based marketing services group. The approach marks a resumption of takeover talk surrounding Aegis, more than two years after speculation regarding a tie-up with Havas, the French agency group.

Publicis buys Rosetta for $575m

Publicis Groupe has made its third large acquisition of a US digital marketing agency in five years, with the $575m (€400m) purchase of Rosetta, reports the FT. Maurice Lévy, Publicis chief executive, said Rosetta was different to Razorfish and Digitas, its previous US digital deals, as it focused more on consultancy services and data analysis for specialist industries including retail, healthcare and tech. Rosetta was the second-largest independent digital agency in the US last year after sales grew 23%; revenues are expected to reach nearly $250m this year. The NYT says the deal price raised concerns among investors, but added that analysts were reassured by Lévy’s track record on the Razorfish and Digitas acquisitions. Also, the deal reduced the likelihood that Publicis, the third-largest advertising company after WPP and Omnicom, might make a larger bid for No. 4 player Interpublic, which Lévy had earlier considered.

Publicis eyes stake in Brazil’s Talent

Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest advertising group, is in advanced talks for a stake in Talent, a top Brazilian ad agency, reports the FT. The investment could value Talent, a privately held agency with above-average profit margins, at about R$350m ($200m) – a high earnings multiple for a business of that size, say industry insiders. The deal highlights readiness by international groups to pay premiums for a piece of the fast-growing Latin American media market, as Brazil prepares to host the football World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016.

Publicis lands Razorfish for $530m

Publicis Groupe, the French marketing and communications business, has beaten rivals including WPP and Dentsu in the race to acquire Razorfish from Microsoft. The deal, which values the digital agency at about $530m, includes a five-year media buying relationship between Publicis and Microsoft. About 55% of the purchase price will be settled in cash, with the rest in treasury shares, depending on the Publicis share price.

Publicis nears Razorfish acquisition

Publicis Groupe is closing in on an acquisition of Razorfish, Microsoft’s digital advertising agency, and could agree final terms by early next week. The situation remains fluid, but the French communications company has taken the lead in a contest with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising group that owns 15% of Publicis. Microsoft and Publicis entered a final round of talks this week. The Publicis bid, expected to value Razorfish at about $600m, is slightly below the headline price offered by Dentsu but it has also offered to place advertising across Microsoft’s digital properties in coming years.

Microsoft puts Razorfish up for sale

Microsoft has appointed Morgan Stanley to find a potential buyer for Razorfish, its Seattle-based digital agency. Publicis, the French marketing company, is thought to be a possible bidder. Microsoft acquired Razorfish, formerly called Avenue A Razorfish, as part of its $6bn takeover of aQuantive in 2007. One analyst valued Razorfish at $600m-$700m, based on sales of about $400m last year and profit margins for similar businesses of 12-13%.

Publicis chief warns on internet ad revenues

Too many new media companies are chasing too few advertising dollars, one of the advertising industry’s most senior executives has warned, amid fresh questions about the fast-rising valuations of prominent online groups. At a conference in Monaco, Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis marketing group, likened the boom in businesses whose revenue models depend on continued growth of online advertising to the dotcom boom and bust a decade ago: “Far too many people are building plans based on advertising and they may well be disappointed because there is not enough money for everyone,” he said.

Online advertising is new frontier in M&A

It is possible that the other deals will be subjected to similar levels of antitrust scrutiny. But the FTC has not yet made so-called second requests of either Microsoft or Yahoo for additional information that would signal such added scrutiny, said people familiar with the matter.Meanwhile, the Publicis deal for Business Interactif reflects the high prices at which such digital agencies are changing hands, as web advertising and other forms of digital media takes an increasing share of corporate marketing budgets, notes the FT. It values Business Interactif, which is listed on Euronext Paris, at a multiple of 15 times the €9m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation forecast at the acquired company for 2007. It will be funded half in cash, half by the issuance of 2m new Publicis shares.Earlier this year Publicis also bought Digitas, a much larger US specialist in digital, direct and healthcare marketing, in a deal worth €1.3bn.
The latest acquisition will be integrated into Digitas in a bid to increase the ability of Digitas to serve advertisers in Europe and Asia.

Business Interactif has offices in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai, and provides the technology and media placement for digital campaigns, as well as specialist email and search services. Read more

Publicis says Aegis rumours are ‘groundless’

Publicis, the French marketing services group, has denied it is eyeing a bid for Aegis, the media buying and market research company. The statement from Publicis followed a midday rise in Aegis shares. The owner of the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency labelled as ‘groundless’ the rumours concerning a possible offer for Aegis.

Publicis makes $1.3bn bid for Digitas

French advertising group Publicis last night launched a $1.3bn friendly takeover bid for Digitas, a US specialist in online advertising and other forms of digital and interactive marketing. Publicis offered $13.50 in cash for each Nasdaq-listed Digitas share, a premium of 23.5 per cent over the price of Digitas shares on December 19. Publicis was advised on the deal by Jean-Marie Messier’s Messier & Associés. Digitas was advised by Bear Stearns.