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Publicis Groupe to acquire Sapient for $3.7bn

Merger comes just months after Publicis’ failed acquisition of Omnicom

Publicis Group SapientFrance-based marketing giant Publicis Groupe has agreed acquire digital specialist Sapient in a deal valued at $3.7bn.

The acquisition will create a new unit within Publicis Groupe that will go under the name Publicis.Sapient. This new division will focus exclusively on digital transformation and the convergence of marketing, omni-channel commerce, consulting and technology.

The deal comes just months after a planned merger between Publicis Groupe and fellow global advertising firm Omnicom fell apart due in part to opposing thoughts on senior management.

In that time Publicis Groupe has announced a reshuffle of its management board, including the news that CEO Maurice Lévy will depart in 2017.

Lévy 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.

“It will also give Publicis Groupe access to new markets and creating new revenue streams.”

Maurice Levy, Publicis Groupe 

Maurice Lévy is to step down as CEO of Publicis Groupe in 2017

In the third quarter of this year, digital advertising accounted for 41.6% of total revenue for the Publicis. With the acquisition of Sapient digital revenues will account for more than 50% of its overall sales come 2015, three years ahead of its 2018 plan.

As part of the deal, Jerry Greenberg, co-founder and co-chairman of Sapient, will join the Publicis Groupe supervisory board. Sapient CEO and co-chairman Alan Herrick will join Publicis' senior management team, Directoire+, as CEO of Publicis.Sapient.

Herrick said: “This transaction provides substantial value to our shareholders, offers an ideal cultural match for our people and provides an opportunity to share a wealth of new capabilities with our clients.

“The Sapient team has been on a 24-year journey building a company with the objective of creating significant impact for our clients and the industries in which they operate. With Publicis Groupe, we have found a partner that accelerates the level of transformation we can drive into the marketplace.”

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

4th November 2014

From: Marketing

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