Microsoft finally rids itself of a sharp fin in its side

It would seem that Microsoft is in the process of finally getting rid of businesses that it had accumulated through the purchase of larger companies. The news today is that the rumors of the company looking to rid itself of some excess baggage called Razorfish have turned out to be true.

In a deal worth $530 million in cash and stock sees the digital ad agency Razorfish finding a new home with a French company called Publicis. Microsoft picked up Razorfish as part of the deal with Razorfish’s parent company aQuantive where we saw Microsoft had over about $6 billion.

At $530 million Razorfish is actually quite a steal given that at the time of purchase of aQuantive there were three other companies that were apart of the deal. At this point Atlas, technology to track ads, and Drive Performance Media, which tracks inventory for online as sales, have been folded into the company leaving Razorfish dangling around looking for a new home. The deal for all the companies ended up costing $6 billion which when pro-rated over the complete line up of companies put a value of $2 billion for Razorfish.

So for the French company Publicis Groups the combination deal of cash and 6.5 million shares of Publicis stock would appear to be a bonus for the company.

The company will be folded into Publicis’ VivaKi group. Bob Lord will remain Razorfish CEO.

Razorfish will stay in Seattle. It has more than 2,000 employees in offices around the world.

“For us it allows us to expand our strategic plan much more quickly,” Lanctot said about joining Publicis. “It allows us to expand not only globally but to have a much more significant global footprint; it also allows us to expand our services.”

Source: Seattle Times :: Microsoft sells its digital ad agency Razorfish

graphic courtesy of John Musco