Publicis in talks to take stake in Brazilian agency Talent

SAO PAULO - Publicis Groupe looks set to beat WPP Group to the punch with a investment in Brazilian ad agency Talent.

Talent founder Julio Ribeiro
Talent founder Julio Ribeiro

According to a report in the FT, the Publicis investment could value the privately held agency at around $200m. The paper quoted industry insiders as saying this represented a "high earnings multiple for a business of that size".

The 200-strong agency Talent is led by Julio Ribeiro who was previously reported to be in talks with Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP about the British group taking a stake. Talent's clients include Timberland, Sony and Santander.

The mooted investment would boost Publicis Groupe's presence in the Brazilian market significantly and underscore the interest that global ad groups are taking in the Latin American market.

Brazil is hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Publicis already has nearly 750 employees in Brazil. It is represented by agency brands including Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, VivaKi (Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia), and MS&L Group.

Earlier this month, Campaign reported that Publicis had acquired Brazilian digital agency AG2.

That led to the network's digital arm in the region Publicis Modem being renamed AG2 Publicis Modem.