French advertising giant Publicis, the world number three, is buying America’s Sapient as it continues its drive into the American market.
Publicis is paying nearly three billion euros in cash after investing nine months of talks trying to buy world number two Omnicom. The talks collapsed in August.
Sapient is a key player in the digital advertising market, the only one growing in the USA, but analysts say Publicis may have paid over the odds at a 44 percent premium for a company whose growth may already have peaked.
Publicis’s share price fell as much as five percent on the news.