aQuantive to Buy SBI.Razorfish

BOSTON aQuantive on Monday said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire independent interactive agency SBI.Razorfish for $160 million, comprised of $85 million in cash, and $75 million in convertible notes. The transaction is expected to close in late July. (aQuantive already owns i-shops Avenue A and i-Frontier.)

Razorfish is privately held and has more than 500 employees. It posted net revenue of $93 million in 2003, excluding billings to clients for reimbursable costs and was last year profitable, aQuantive said. Razorfish clients include Ford, Kraft and Microsoft.

“The combined offerings of Avenue A and Razorfish will bring unparalleled online advertising and Web site marketing services together, creating not only one of the largest interactive agencies, but one that provides the most comprehensive and strategic digital service offering in the market today,” said Brian McAndrews, president and CEO of aQuantive, in a statement.

“This combination will greatly expand the value we bring to our clients, it will offer new opportunities for our talented people to grow their careers, and it will create the largest independent interactive firm with the ability to define and expand the online space for years to come,” said Ned Stringham, president and CEO of SBI Group.

The acquisition of Razorfish will result in a new brand identity for aQuantive’s core agency business. Avenue A/Razorfish will be the new brand for the company’s interactive agency offering, with the exception of Philadelphia-based i-Frontier, which will retain its brand identity.

Ned Stringham, SBI Group’s CEO and president, will join the aQuantive board of directors upon closing of the transaction.

—Adweek staff report