Publicis Groupe to buy Rosetta


Rosetta Marketing Group will significantly up Publicis Groupe’s digital and interactive marketing service offerings. Rosetta, one of the largest and fastest-growing independent digital agencies in North America, will operate as an autonomous, stand-alone brand within Publicis under the leadership of Rosetta’s founder & CEO Chris Kuenne, who will remain at the head of the agency, reporting to Jean-Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe COO. The addition to its other digital businesses – which include Digitas, Razorfish and Publicis Modem – will bring Publicis Groupe’s annual revenue derived from digital activity to more than 30%.

Launched in 1998 with a focus on consulting services, Rosetta employs more than 1,100 interactive marketing pros throughout the US and Canada. It’s headquartered in Princeton with an important presence in New York, Cleveland and California, with offices in San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and San Jose.

Rosetta’s clients are mainly in the healthcare, financial, retail and technology industries, and include Allergan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bristol Myers Squibb, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott, Research In Motion, T-Mobile and Valvoline.

Rosetta’s client service teams work closely with C-Suite executives to translate deep consumer insights into personalized interactive programs that are scaled through Rosetta’s enterprise grade e-commerce platforms, content management systems, connected devices and cloud computing. Over the past 6 years Rosetta has grown from generating about $10M in annual revenue to expected revenues of nearly $250M in 2011.

Under the terms, in addition to the initial transaction value of $575 million, Rosetta’s manager-shareholders can receive a potential deferred payment in 2014 based on the agency’s performance in 2011-2013. The initial transaction will be entirely paid in cash at the closing.

The transaction is expected to close during Q2 or Q3.