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Publicis to Acquire Digitas for $1.3B

Publicis Groupe intends to acquire Digitas Inc. in an all-cash deal worth $1.3 billion, snapping up one of the last large standalone digital agencies - and one of the few publicly traded ones, reports ClickZ. Digitas shareholders will receive $13.50 per share.

Boston-based Digitas's client base includes Fortune 500 brands, and it has close relationships with Yahoo, Google, MSN, Fox Interactive Media and AOL. Digitas's holding include the namesake agency and interactive shops Modem Media and Medical Broadcasting Co., writes AdWeek.

"This will enable Publicis Groupe to have the most comprehensive digital offering in the most important market, the U.S.," Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy said. In August, Publicis acquired Atlanta-based Moxie Interactive, which was paired with Zenith Media.

Publicis plans to also expand Digitas internationally. Digitas CEO David Kenny, who will stay on and join the Publicis executive committee, said some two-thirds of Digitas's clients have an international presence. "They're eager for us to take their successes in the United States global," he said.

Publicis is the No. 4 holding company, behind Omnicom, WPP and Interpublic Group. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2007.

Further details - quotes, explanations of strategic framework/advantages, synergies, financial objectives, lists of clients - are in the official news release.

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