Publicitas is sold to German investment company Aurelius

What: Swiss Media and Advertising company PubliGroupe SA  has sold Publicitas to German investment firm Aurelius AG.
Why it matters: Publicitas plays in important role in international media representation including in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market

PublicitasAurelius AG, a German investment firm, is acquiring Publicitas for a price “in the low double-digit million franc range” (between US $11 and US $15 million). Lausanne, Switzerland-based PubliGroupe said in a statement. The deal requires shareholder approval at PubliGroupe’s annual general meeting later this month. Publicitas generated gross revenues (including the value of the advertising space) of over 657 million euros (US $ 920 million) in 2013 (net revenues: 110 million euros – US $154 million). The transaction is one of the biggest in the history of Aurelius.

Publicitas was founded 124 years ago and was originally focused on international print media representation. It has approximately 860 employees in 70 offices based in 20 different countries. “Publicitas has a very good position in the Swiss market, but also internationally. We will be strengthening the company’s new strategy to become a cross media service provider,” said Dr. Dirk Markus, Chairman of the Board at Aurelius AG.

Important Latin American presence

Publicitas has played an important role in panregional/Latin American and U.S. Hispanic media representation over the last few decades. Publicitas bought Miami based media representation firm Charney & Palacios in the nineties. After the acquistion the firm was called Publicitas Charney &  Palacios.  The firm is now called Publicitas Inc. Latin America and led by Lucio Grimaldi, Vice President, Managing Director Latin America & US Hispanic. In November 2012  Publicitas bought Improve Digital, a SSP (Supply Side Provider) which helps digital publishers automate their sales relationships and manage their own private marketplaces. Improve Digital later created The Mark, an exclusive real-time advertising marketplace that connects premium brands with premium publishers, whilst still maintaining full control over brand safety and pricing.

PubliGroup to focus on digital business

At PubliGroupe digital business will generate more than 80 percent of the company’s revenues after the sale of Publicitas/ “The sale of Publicitas is a resolute continuation of businesses in the area of digital advertising trading and processing,” PubliGroup’s Chief Executive Officer Arndt Groth said in the statement.