Publicis Groupe Completes $3.7 Billion Sapient Acquisition

Publicis Groupe confirmed today that it has completed its $3.7 billion acquisition of Boston-based Sapient, parent of digital advertising and marketing shop SapientNitro.

A tender offer for Sapient shares, announced in November, closed Thursday after several extensions. Publicis said that more than 86.5% of Sapient’s outstanding shares had been tendered, although only a majority of shares were required to be tendered in order for the deal to go through.

With the acquisition complete, the company is forming a new operation called Publicis.Sapient that encompasses the holding company’s major digital brands including SapientNitro, Razorfish Global, Rosetta and DigitasLBi and Sapient consulting units Sapient Global Markets and Sapient Government Services. Digital will account for 50% of Publicis Groupe revenue this year, up from 41% prior to the closing of the Sapient purchase.



The new unit will be led by Sapient CEO and Co-Chairman Alan Herrick as CEO. He will also serve as a member of Publicis Groupe’s Directoire+ leadership committee. Jerry Greenberg, Sapient founder and co-chairman, will join Publicis Groupe’s Supervisory Board as an independent member. Alan Wexler, President, SapientNitro, and Chip Register, EVP/Managing Director, Sapient Global Markets, will join Publicis Groupe’s P12 Executive Committee.

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy said the acquisition establishes the holding company as a “leader in marketing communication and business transformation.” The combined companies, he added, “will create a world leader of unmatched capabilities.”

Herrick said he and Levy have a “shared vision to tip an industry and create change. That opportunity exists now more than ever. The combination of our two companies and the creation of the Publicis.Sapient platform together create the transformation offering in the market.” 

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