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Publicis buys LBi in £332m deal

Global ad network Publicis Groupe has bought interactive consultancy LBi in a deal worth 416 million euros (£332 million).

The deal comes after months of speculation about the future of LBi, following WPP’s £350 million acquisition of fellow interactive group AKQA in June.

Earlier this summer, LBi announced that it was ‘in discussions’ about the deal, which has now been approved by LBi’s board.

LBi chief executive Luke Taylor says, ‘We are thrilled at the prospect of joining the Publicis Groupe and are convinced this transaction not only provides highly attractive value to our shareholders, but equally to our clients, staff and partners.’

Maurice Lévy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, says, ‘The acquisition of LBi is another step forward in further strengthening our digital operations.’

Publicis says the deal will see the group deriving more than 35 per cent of its revenues from digital operations.

LBi, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, employs around 2200 people in 32 offices around the world.

In the first half of 2012 it reported a net revenue of 119.4 million euros (£95 million).

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