Razorfish Buys Spanish Digital Ad Shop Wysiwyg; Lays Off 40 In New York

Looking to expand its European presence, Microsoft’s Razorfish has bought Spanish digital ad shop Wysiwyg. Terms were not disclosed. But as Razorfish was adding elsewhere, it was subtracting in the U.S., as Bloomberg reported that the company laid off 40 staffers in New York this week. The job cuts represent about 2 percent of its total workforce, which stretches across the U.S., China, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. Razorfish CEO Clark Kokich told Bloomberg that the Seattle-based sees a bit of “softness” in the online ad arena. Nevertheless, growth hasn’t gone away Kokich said, it’s just happening at a reduced pace.

The purchase of Wysiwyg (the name means “what you see is what you get”) is part of Razorfish’s larger goal to generate a third of its sales outside the U.S. by the end of 2009. Razorfish produced $400 million in revenue last year. Like major ad holding companies such as Aegis and WPP Group, Razorfish is looking for acquisitions outside the slowing U.S. market. In particular, the company is planning further M&A activity in Asia or Latin America. At the moment, all remains quiet about Microsoft’s musings to sell off the Razorfish side of its aQuantive business to WPP, which has been concentrating on wrapping up its takeover of audience media researcher TNS. Release

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