Staff Reporters
Nov 3, 2014

Updated: Publicis to acquire 'crown jewel' Sapient for $3.7 billion

GLOBAL - The boards of Publicis Groupe and Sapient have approved an agreement to form an entity that will operate as Publicis.Sapient.

Updated: Publicis to acquire 'crown jewel' Sapient for $3.7 billion

The all-cash transaction for $25 per share has been approved by the boards of both companies. 

Sapient CEO and co-chairman Alan J. Herrick will join Publicis Groupe's senior management team (Directoire+) as CEO of Publicis.Sapient. Jerry A. Greenberg, co-founder and co-chairman
of Sapient, will join the Publicis Groupe Supervisory Board.

The purchase "accelerates achieving Publicis Groupe’s objective to become the leader at the
convergence of communication, marketing, commerce and technology", the company said in a press release. 

As a result of the acquisition, digital will account for more than 50 per cent of Publlicis' revenue, three years ahead of the 2018 plan, the company said.

“Sapient is a ‘crown jewel,’ a one of a kind company born in the technology space with strengths in marketing, communications, consulting and omni-channel commerce, all of which are equally important to best help clients achieve their digital transformation," Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said in the release.

According to R3, which tracks industry investments, Publicis Groupe has spent more than US$7.5 billion on digital acquisitions since 2006, when it bought Digitas. Other major additions include LBi, Razorfish, Rosetta and Rokkan.

Greg Paull, R3's principal, noted that Sapient's business in Asia was not on a par with that in the US, but that that could now change. "With a greater focus from Publicis Groupe and better access to clients, this could be a powerful proposition," he said.

The deal "should allow the group to get beyond the CMO and talk to the CIO and the CFO. Sapient has moved upscale in digital consulting, so this is a major shift for Publicis Groupe," Paull said.




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