Publicis Strikes Deal with Microsoft

The advertising group Publicis has struck a $530 million deal with Microsoft to buy the Razorfish ad agency and increase its position in digital communications, Publicis said Sunday.

Publicis will issue Microsoft 6.5 million treasury shares worth €162 million, or $232.6 million, at Friday’s closing price, and pay the rest in cash from its ample liquidity position , New York Times reports.

Razorfish, previously known as Razorfish Avenue A, works with clients to develop Web sites and other online advertising. Its clients include Best Buy, Ford and McDonald's.

While Microsoft landed other businesses in the purchase, such as Atlas technology to track ads and DRIVEpm to buy Web space from publishers, Razorfish was the deal's most valuable asset. At its height, aQuantive had 2,400 employees and 630 were based in Seattle, ,Seattle Times reports.

The acquisition of Razorfish is another step forward in realizing our strategic vision of building a world leader in digital communications, a critically important space for our clients," said Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe in a statement. "More than anything, this acquisition should demonstrate that Publicis Group now presents a wider pool of resources, talent and expertise that will help our clients market their products or services in a way that takes maximum advantage of the new digital world." ,The Associated Press reports.

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