Publicis plans €3 billion acquisition drive

Publicis Groupe has set aside an annual war chest of €500 million for acquisitions as it unveiled a six-year growth plan.

LBi... recent Publicis acquisition
LBi... recent Publicis acquisition

Speaking at an event for investors at LBi London's offices on Tuesday, Jean-Michel Etienne, the chief financial officer of Publicis Groupe, said that "the envelope [for acquisitions] will be €500 million each year."

Deals are likely to focus on digital technology businesses in markets including Brazil, Russia, China, Turkey and India as well as countries in South East Asia.

Etienne had earlier announced targets for 2.8 per cent average annual organic revenue growth to the end of 2018 and an ambition that 75 per cent of total revenues will come from digital activity and emerging markets by the same time.

He said that there would be an emphasis on doing deals sooner rather than later as this could deliver a "higher margin".

Publicis also predicted revenue growth of between 3.2 and 3.6 per cent for this year, despite growth of 1.3 per cent in the first quarter.

The company’s acquisition drive will follow its £333 million purchase of digital network LBi last year and its acquisition last week of Neev, a software provider in India.