Razorfish on the Razor’s Edge?



RazorfishMicrosoft’s interactive agency Razorfish is the subject of some varying rumors as of late. The one common thread in all of these reports is that Microsoft is shopping the company. That much we know for sure. Where they end up is the subject of much speculation.

In the Internet marketing press it depends on who you listen to and / or trust that will help you make your very own prediction. Publicis ending up with Razorfish has been favored by the folks at paidContent and they were willing to pay handsomely for the company although not quite the $800 million that it was supposed to merit. That may not be the case any longer. WPP is in the game as well but that is another that falls under the category of “to be determined”

Although three sources told paidContent that WPP had a cordial meeting with Microsoft execs about what it would it take to move Razorfish out of the Redmond software company’s orbit, a deal appears to be in doubt.

Several executives speculated it was a matter of demonstrating who wants Razorfish more, and so far, Publicis has gone to greater lengths to show its desire. For one thing, Publicis executives have indicated that they would be willing to pay upwards of $700 million to acquire Razorfish, while WPP has balked at paying more than $600 million.

Other sources including Business Insider have stated that Publicis’ interest is on the retreat (that was on August 4th). On the 6th both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was likely to happen. Since none of the companies seem to be actually saying anything rather than this being a case of “he said, she said” between companies it’s one of “we said, they said” amongst various industry insiders.

If it were to happen, the deal is said to be slated for September but who the heck knows. Right now, it seems like there is much ado about nothing since Microsoft is supposedly talking to others as well. Comparatively this must seem like a vacation for Microsoft staffers following the Yahoo “Boatloads of Fun” event. Whether this is all a negotiation ploy or not matters most to Razorfish employees who are probably wondering what the future holds for them. Let’s face it, they’re the ones that will feel any impact the quickest and just how much impact will be felt depends greatly on who eventually walks away with the company.