Report: Microsoft to cut Razorfish loose

The tech titan is reportedly looking for a buyer for its Internet ad agency, which it acquired in 2007 as part of its $6 billion Aquantive takeover.

Microsoft is putting Internet ad agency Razorfish up for sale, according to a Financial Times report Sunday.

Microsoft, which acquired Razorfish in 2007 as part of its $6 billion takeover of Aquantive, has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to find a potential buyer. The report identified French marketing company Publicis Groupe as a potential buyer.

Formerly known as Avenue A/Razorfish, the agency was credited with designing the logo for Microsoft's new search engine Bing, as well as creating the online ads for the ensuing publicity campaign. The Seattle-based agency has more than 2,000 employees and counts Dell, Disney, and Nike among its clients.

One analyst cited in the report estimated Razorfish could be worth $600 million to $700 million.

Representatives for Microsoft and Razorfish did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The deal for Aquantive was Microsoft's largest ever and highlighted the importance of supporting more-advanced advertising products and technologies across areas including media planning, video on demand, and Internet Protocol television. The acquisition of Razorfish specifically was considered especially important as a way to give Microsoft a new presence in the ad services business and also help promote its rich media and video plug-in Silverlight.


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