Publicis hooks, reels in Razorfish

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razorfish_small.jpgADOTAS – Hook, line and sinker — French advertising agency Publicis Groupe SA has acquired the trophy catch of interactive advertising companies, Razorfish, from Microsoft for $286.8 million in cash and 6.5 million shares of stock. Microsoft also receives a 3.3% stake in Publicis.

With fiscal 2009 revenue of $380 million and 2,200 employees spread across eight countries, Razorfish is the second largest interactive advertising agency. To namedrop only a few of its prestigious clients, Dell, Disney, Nike and Visa are all included on its roster.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Publicis, Razofish will join the stars of the VivaKi unit, which manages media and digital operations. With the inclusion of Razorfish, Publicis’ digital business now accounts for about 25% of its aggregate revenue.

Microsoft purchased Razorfish in 2005 in the hopes of building an advertising platform and a steady revenue stream, but the downturn in PC sales as well as its pending deal with Yahoo! have changed the company’s plans.

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