Dentsu and Publicis Groupe have terminated their strategic partnership, with Dentsu selling back most of its remaining shareholding, 18 million shares, back to Publicis for £535 million.
Dentsu is said to be keeping a 2% holding for the time being - 3,875,139 shares.
The partnership between the two agencies began ten years ago, when Publicis acquired BCom3, which Dentsu had a shareholding in, in 2002. Duntsu exchanged this for a 15% stake in Publicis.
As part of the deal Dentsu would consult Publicis before making any investments, initiating any joint ventures or other new ventures in Australia, Europe or the United States; and would not existing partnership with WPP and Dentsu Young & Rubicam. In return, Publicis would not engage ni new activities in Japan without consulting Dentsu.
Maurice Lévy, chairman of the management board and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said: “The partnership with Dentsu over the past 10 years has been amicable and exemplary. Dentsu’s stake in the share capital of Publicis has furthered the development of the Groupe.
“I wish to express my gratitude for the elegance and professionalism with which this partnership has been carried out, and to all the Dentsu executives who have taken part in this adventure, particularly the late Mr. Narita, who was at the origin of our relationship, and Messrs. Mataki, Takashima and Ishii. I am certain that we will continue our professional relationship in a fruitful manner via specific commercial agreements and our two joint ventures: Beacon Communications and Dentsu Razorfish.”
Tadashi Ishii, president and CEO of Dentsu Inc., added: “Today marks the close of a chapter in our 10-year partnership with Publicis. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Madame Elisabeth Badinter, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, Mr. Maurice Lévy, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Publicis Groupe, and all the members of the Publicis Groupe for their support during our amicable partnership over the past 10 years.
“I look forward to continuing our friendly relationship with Publicis as we work toward furthering the mutual growth of our clients and developing our businesses.”