Publicis Closes Razorfish Acquisition; Microsoft Gets 3.3 Percent Stake In Ad Holding Company

Two months after striking the deal, French ad holding company Publicis Groupe has closed its $530 million acquisition of digital agency Razorfish from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). As part of the terms of the sale, Microsoft got a 3.3 percent stake in Publicis, which paid Microsoft $286.8 million in cash and handed over 6.5 million ordinary shares in the ad holding company. The buyout finally makes good Publicis CEO Maurice Levy’s vow to have digital comprise 25 percent of the company’s revenues. Release

Seattle-based Razorfish, which has roughly 2,000 staffers spread across three continents, is being integrated into VivaKi, the Publicis Groupe media and digital umbrella that covers Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia, Denuo, Digitas and VivaKi Nerve Center. David Kenny, VivaKi’s managing partner, has been managing that process.

Now that the deal is settled and the integration process is well under way, Razorfish may start looking for acquisitions of its own. As Razorfish CEO Bob Lord told paidContent back in August, the agency will look for locations not presently covered by Publicis, which has 45,000 staffers in 104 countries.