Dentsu Buys Digital Shop Firstborn

Dentsu Tower

Japanese ad giant Dentsu, which has been trying to find digital agencies to acquire for over the past year, has finally found a follow-up to its acquisition of 360i a year ago. The company is New York-based digital shop Firstborn, AdAge reports.

When Dentsu’s U.S. arm bought Innovation Interactive, the parent of digital ad shop 360i, the company was expected to begin what had been a frustrated shopping spree.

In August 2009, Dentsu’s $700 million offer to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to buy Razorfish was rejected in favor of Publicis Groupe’s $530 million bid. Dentsu then made a point of saying it was determined to buy a digital shop.

But despite deep pockets and a more favorable M&A market, the company has approached acquisitions cautiously.

One of the reasons it decided to buy Firstborn, which claims that its revenue rose by 30 percent to an estimated $12 million to $13 million, was that it would complement 360i. In fact, it was Bryan Weiner, 360i’s CEO, who helped bring Dentsu and Firstborn together by setting up a meeting with executives last Labor Day, AdAge noted. Among the things Firstborn, which is expected to keep its brand name, brings to the table that 360i doesn’t, are 3D animation capabilities and web development.

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