Publicis Groupe In Talks To Acquire Press Agency Relaxnews

Publicis Groupe is in exclusive talks to acquire content creator Relaxnews, a company that develops customized content and related technology for media, brands, e-commerce sites, blogs and company Web sites.

The holding company said Relaxnews is valued at approximately $15 million euro (about $17 million at today’s exchange rate) based on the acquisition price currently being discussed by the parties.

In addition to content creation, Relaxnews advises companies on content management and development. The firm is a Paris-based press agency and a member of France’s federation of press agencies as well as the International Press and Telecom Council. It employs about 100 staffers.

Relaxnews has a partnership with Agence France Presse (AFP) and last year it launched a new platform utilizing that partnership that combines data, content and services for brands and media. Clients of the AFP-Relaxnews partnership, which focuses on lifestyle and leisure news, include Getty Images, Globo, Microsoft, Yahoo and others.



Assuming the acquisition is completed, Relaxnews would be aligned with Publicis Groupe’s global media agency network ZenithOptimedia, but also work with other units throughout the holding company. It’s expected that Relaxnews would retain its current management team under Co-Chairmen Jerome and Pierre Doncieux, who would report to Sebastien Danet, global managing partner at ZenithOptimedia.

Danet said the acquisition would bring a firm with “unmatched expertise in today’s content revolution” into the Publicis Groupe fold. That expertise combined with the holding company’s digital offering, he added, “will transform media platforms for the benefit our clients.” 

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy said the acquisition would help the holding company’s clients to “better adapt their content for the digital world.”

Subject to certain conditions, Publicis Groupe has an exclusive negotiating window that extends to May 31. The parties said they hope to reach a final agreement by April and complete it by June 30. 

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