Publicis bids €416 for digital marketing firm LBi

Ad agency Publicis Groupe is hoping to snap up one of Europe’s largest remaining independent digital ad agencies, offering €416 million, a joint release from Publicis and the firm, LBi, announced yesterday.

Targeted agencies like the Amsterdam-based LBi are being bought up by big four ad groups looking to gain expertise in the growing digital ad landscape, paidContent noted. For example, Publicis bought Digitas in 2006, Razorfish in 2009 and Rosetta in 2011.

LBi is “one of the few large remaining independent digital communications agencies and the only one with a global footprint,” employing about 2,200 people in 16 countries, the announcement stated. Its clients include Volvo, Coca Cola and Ikea. The company touts its independent creativity with a unicorn on its website, stating: “To us, the unicorn symbolises the never-ending quest for digital mastery.”

“The proposed acquisition of LBi will enable Publicis Groupe to increase its share of revenue derived from digital operations to over 35%, in line with its strategic goals, and to capitalise on the complementarity with its existing global digital businesses. Its clients will benefit from the outstanding service offering of this enlarged digital platform and the expertise of talented professionals,” the announcement explained.

“Publicis Groupe has consistently demonstrated a clear and emphatic belief in the importance of digital media and is recognized for grooming and managing its talent worldwide. Our entire strategy to date is built on a commitment to relentlessly drive and optimise value for our clients. There is now a unique opportunity to pace set the market and collaborate across new geographies and marketing services so that we can accelerate our strategic plans aimed at providing clients with a globally integrated offering,” Luke Taylor, chief executive officer of LBi, stated in the release.

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