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Publicis Groupe to acquire Sapient for $3.7 billion

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MUMBAI: Publicis Groupe and Sapient have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Publicis Groupe will acquire Sapient in an all-cash transaction for $3.7 billion, or $25 per share.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the management and supervisory boards of Publicis Groupe and the board of directors of Sapient.

Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Levy said, “Sapient is a ‘crown jewel,’ a one of a kind company born in the technology space with strengths in marketing, communications, consulting and omni-channel commerce, all of which are equally important to best help clients achieve their digital transformation. It will also give Publicis Groupe access to new markets and creating new revenue streams.”

“This acquisition fulfills many of Publicis Groupe’s objectives: we will enhance our leadership position in digital, achieve our goal of deriving 50% of our revenues from Publicisgroupe.com 3/9 digital and technology three years ahead of our 2018 plan, and leverage technology, consulting capabilities to expand in new verticals, and offering new and exciting opportunities to our talents,” he added.

The acquisition will accelerate achieving Publicis Groupe’s objective to become the leader at the convergence of communication, marketing, commerce and technology, said the press release.

Through this, the company will create a platform to be named Publicis.Sapient, which will focused exclusively on digital transformation and the dynamics of an always-on world across marketing, omni-channel commerce, consulting and technology.

Sapient CEO and co-Chairman Alan J Herrick will also be joining Publicis Groupe senior management team as CEO of Publicis.Sapient and Sapient co-founder and co-chairman Jerry A Greenberg will join the company’s supervisory board.

Sapient president, CEO and co-chairman Alan J Herrick added, “This transaction provides substantial value to our shareholders, offers an ideal cultural match for our people and provides an opportunity to share a wealth of new capabilities with our clients.”

“The Sapient team has been on a 24-year journey building a company with the objective of creating significant impact for our clients and the industries in which they operate. With Publicis Groupe, we have found a partner that accelerates the level of transformation we can drive into the marketplace,” he further stated.

The combination of Publicis Groupe and Sapient is expected to drive cost savings through the integration of digital production leveraging Sapient’s substantial production infrastructure in India, real estate consolidation, G&A reductions and procurement savings, said the companies in a joint statement.

“The newly created Publicis.Sapient platform will create significant opportunities for our tremendously talented people across the platform. We will also be able to deploy our capabilities on a global scale through Publicis Groupe’s significant international presence. With access to the world’s greatest creative talent and media expertise, as well as a strong global footprint, we will be better positioned to identify and pursue market opportunities all over the world,” added Herrick.

In connection with the tender offer, Jerry A Greenberg, J Stuart Moore, and Alan J Herrick have entered into a tender and support agreement with Publicis Groupe pursuant to which they have agreed to tender an aggregate of approximately 18 per cent of Sapient’s outstanding shares in the offer.

The completion of the tender offer is subject to certain customary terms and conditions, including the tender of at least a majority of the outstanding shares of Sapient, antitrust and other regulatory clearances in the US, and antitrust clearance in Germany. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

The completion of the tender offer is subject to certain customary terms and conditions, including the tender of at least a majority of the outstanding shares of Sapient, antitrust and other regulatory clearances in the US, and antitrust clearance in Germany. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, added the press release.

BofA Merrill Lynch and Rothschild acted as financial advisors and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal advisor to Publicis Groupe while Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P. acted as financial advisors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP acted as legal advisor to Sapient.

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