Publicis pays a very high price for Sapient

Peter Linnell's picture

Since the merger with Omnicom was called-off Publicis has quickly resumed its acquisitive ways with the latest and biggest deal announced this week. An all-cash price of USD3.7bn has been agreed by the boards of Sapient and Publicis but with Sapient's market value only USD2.46bn the Publicis chief Maurice Levy has gone to extraordinary lengths to bolster the group's digital revenues and reach. SapientNitro is the main marketing communications business run by Sapient which is better known as a Boston based capital markets consultancy so this also marks a clear move into the consultancy space. But Levy was keen to emphasise the expansion of their digital capabilities and that more than 50% of their revenues will now be "digital" - although separating digital services and revenues from non-digital is becoming increasingly difficult these days. Nonetheless Levy highlighted the ability to create a "digital platform" by bringing Sapient together with their existing digital businesses DigitasLBi and Razorfish.
Whether such a high price is worth paying remains to be seen.