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The Net Takeaway: Digitas to be acquired by Publicis

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Digitas to be acquired by Publicis · 12/20/2006 08:26 PM, Marketing

Congrats to the Digitas folks. I was employee 38 of Strategic Interactive Group (SIG), the forerunner of Digitas. Other friends were emps 1 through 10. No, none of us got stock; the company was all private back then.

They bounced around, always working people to the bone, and always having those people come back for more.

And I guess it paid off. 27% over last trading price is nice. But keeping the talent will be iffy; I think lots stayed around because they thought of it as a McKinsey light, and now that they have a chance to cash in, I bet lots will move.

Portion reprinted from Bloomberg.com without any permission whatsoever.
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aLAzzF3AeoDg

Publicis to Buy Digitas for $1.3 Billion, Grow Online (Update3)

By Rudy Ruitenberg

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — Publicis Groupe SA, the world’s fourth-biggest advertising firm, agreed to buy Digitas Inc. for $1.3 billion in cash to sell more Internet advertising. Digitas shares rose the most in five years.

Digitas holders will receive $13.50 for each share held, Paris-based Publicis said today in a statement. The offer is 27 percent higher than the last price for Digitas shares today before trading in the Boston-based company’s stock was halted.

The Digitas deal is at least the 11th takeover announced by Paris-based Publicis this year as Chief Executive Officer Maurice Levy implements his expansion plan. Levy said this month that he is also seeking acquisitions in China, India and Russia. The company walked away from takeovers recently because prices were too high, he said.

``We know this is the market of the future,’‘ Levy said on a conference call today. ``The combination of Publicis and Digitas will make a world leader in digital marketing services.’‘

Digital and interactive publicity will make up more than 10 percent of communications spending in 2010, Publicis said. The market for digital advertising will rise 28 percent in 2006, compared with 5 percent growth for the overall advertising market, Levy said.

Digitas will provide technical expertise that Publicis can’t offer clients on its own, said Aaron Kessler, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in Menlo Park, California.

``They have some pretty good technologies in terms of analytics,’‘ Kessler said in an interview. ``It really brings expertise in digital marketing to Publicis, which has more traditional agency assets.’‘

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net .
Last Updated: December 20, 2006 18:11 EST

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