Microsoft Corp is reportedly in talks with five of the world’s biggest advertising companies about selling off digital agency Razorfish.
According to reports in late June, Microsoft had hired Morgan Stanley to run the sale of the digital agency it acquired in 2007 after acquiring aQuantive for $6 billion. Microsoft would not confirm these reports.
“There is demand from these holding companies to have digital services and it doesn’t really make sense to Microsoft’s business, so a sale makes sense,” said Sean Corcoran, analyst, interactive marketing, Forrester Research. “It will just have to be determined by timing and price tag,” he said.
WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic Group and Dentsu reportedly have all been contacted for the bidding, though none of these holding companies would return requests for comment. Razorfish is a key digital agency with clients including Mercedes, Ford, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Levi Strauss & Co., AT&T and Starwood Hotels.
“Razorfish being one of the largest digital assets in the industry, it will be interesting to see how far a company will go to acquire them even in this market,” said Corcoran. “If Publicis were to acquire them, they would have quite a powerhouse in terms of digital assets since they already have Digitas and VivaKi.”