Publicis Groupe is acquiring e-commerce shop Crown Partners.
Following the acquisition, Crown will be folded into Razorfish’s technology platform services, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tie-up makes sense because, as the WSJ notes, the shops both use Hybris, an e-commerce platform owned by SAP and Adobe.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2001, Crown is based in Dayton, Ohio, and employs some 150 staffers in Dayton, New York, Dallas and Denver. Accounts include Land’s End, United Technologies and GlaxoSmithKline.
Crown represents Publicis Groupe's first acquisition since its planned merger with Omnicom collapsed in early May. The French holding company has placed a greater emphasis on digital in recent years, acquiring Beijing-based Longtuo in 2012 and Bangalore-based Neev in 2013, both of which were folded into Razorfish, which Publicis Groupe bought from Microsoft in 2009.
"One of the biggest trends we’ve seen over the last five years is technology platforms are playing a bigger and bigger role in this transformation," Razorfish global CEO Pete Stein told the WSJ.
Razorfish has seen its share of struggles recently, with layoffs across several offices last week following similar downsizing at the end of March, the loss of part of its Microsoft in April and the departure of several top executives in the past year. Still, Stein assured the WSJ that "business is very healthy," adding, "Digital is the primary way that brands connect with consumers."
Publicis Groupe aims to make digital account for at least half of its revenue by 2018 and recently launched a new digital agency called Roar. Digital currently accounts for 38 percent of the company's revenue, according to the WSJ.