LBi is set to be acquired by Publicis, one of the last remaining independent digital communications agencies. The deal is said to be worth €416 million in cash and will see the joint revenues from digital operations at Publicis rise to 35%.
Shareholders at LBi will receive €2.85 per share in cash, which forms the main crux of the deal proposed by Publicis and has been referred to as the “offer”. Publicis also states that no dividend payments or other distributions on LBi shares will be made.
The aforementioned offer price represents a premium of 39.8% above the "unaffected" 12-month weighted average share price of LBi, which on the 15th of June was €2.04. For those with a keen financial interest, the offer values LBi’s fully diluted share capital at approximately €416 million.
Latest in number of big buys
Publicis has been going through a period of heightened expansion. Over the last five years Publicis acquired three of what it calls strong pure-play digital brands in Digitas, Razorfish and Rosetta. Indian agency, Resultrix, was also targeted earlier in 2012.
Chairman and Chief Executive of Publicis Groupe, Maurice Levy, was already focusing on share prices in the immediate aftermath of the buyout. “This acquisition has a positive impact on our EPS in the first year post-acquisition,” he predicted.
Currently headquartered in Amsterdam, LBi hasn’t shied away from strengthening itself with the acquisition of Bigmouthmedia and Mr. Youth in 2010 and 2011 respectively. It now employs around 2,200 people in 16 countries and has 32 offices around the world.
Luke Taylor, LBi’s Chief Executive Officer, was excited about future possibilities. “There is now a unique opportunity to pace set the market and collaborate across new geographies and marketing services so that we can accelerate our strategic plans aimed at providing clients with a globally integrated offering,” he said.