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Publicis move on Poke means it’s ‘business as usual on the acquisition front’ despite Omnicom merger, says Results

Publicis Groupe yesterday announced that it acquired digital agency Poke for an undisclosed sum in a deal which Results said would ‘satisfy’ both Publicis and Omnicom, which it recently merged with.

Discussing the deal, Keith Hunt, managing partner at Results International, merger and acquisition advisers for the marketing communications and adtech space, said: “The Publicis acquisition of Poke is an excellent reminder that despite the recent ‘merger of equals’ with Omnicom it’s business as usual on the acquisition front. Clearly there will be much effort behind the scenes to ensure that the integration of the two networks runs smoothly but it’s encouraging to see a continued energy and appetite to focus on suitable acquisition targets. The networks’ shareholders should be well satisfied.

“Following the high profile LBi and AKQA deals of 2012, there is a shrinking pool of sizeable independent digital agencies. This transaction demonstrates that there is still considerable appetite for such agencies that remain. Let us hope that the merger will deliver on its intended value and that Poke can be successfully integrated with other digital agencies in the group including LBi and Chemistry.

“Cultural clashes and turf wars can prevent post-integration plans from being properly executed. Different systems and processes, dilution of each company's identity and brand, overestimation of synergies and lack of understanding of each other’s businesses can easily destroy the best laid intentions. The ultimate impact is a loss of shareholder value and a drop in stock price. There’s no denying that Publicis faces a huge integration challenge on all fronts. It can only be assumed that this latest acquisition shows that it is supremely confident in rising to this challenge.”

It is not expected that the acquisition will lead to any redundancies.

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