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Publicis Groupe Acquires Proximedia: Creates a leading European digital communications hub

PARIS, July 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC 40] today announces the acquisition of Cybermedia, parent company of Proximedia, the leading web services provider for SMEs in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Founded in 1998 and based in Brussels, Proximedia has leveraged its high-quality expertise and services to achieve strong growth in digital communications for VSBs, SMEs and self-employed professionals. With more than 25,000 clients and a staff of about 380, the company is a leader in its sector in Belgium and the Netherlands. Proximedia creates websites for its clients, produces web content (videos) under the Bezoom brand and delivers natural and paid referencing (SEO) solutions under the brand Beup. In 2013, Proximedia was named leading digital web agency by Inside Internet Magazine.

More recently, the company launched a number of particularly innovative products, notably in the area of web-to-store (Bizbook & Bizbook Channel), CRM (Bepoint) as well as online video, always destined for its clientele of SMEs and VSBs.

The European Union counts over 25 million SMEs and VSBs today. Much like the big advertisers, these businesses are committed to the digitalization of their marketing and communications. The needs are immense, since less than one third of European companies had a website in 2013. The local digital communications industry should see growth of between 15 and 20% per year over the next five years.

It was in order to respond to this demand that Publicis Groupe launched an internal start-up, Publicis Webformance to the French market in 2011. Three years later, this business has seen a huge growth and counts already nearly 20,000 clients. It will be stabilized at the end of 2014. In 2012, Publicis Webformance began its international development first in Spain, where it now has a portfolio of nearly 2,500 clients.

Publicis Groupe aims to speed up its growth in this local digital communications market, and create the leader in the European market thanks to this acquisition.

Proximedia will be aligned with Publicis Webformance within Publicis Groupe to form a significant division dedicated to SME clients that will operate in more than four major European markets (Belgium, France, Netherlands, Spain). Maxime Baffert, CEO of Publicis Webformance, will lead this new division, with nearly 45,000 clients and around 500 professionals.

Maxime Baffert, CEO of Publicis Webformance, stated, "The arrival of Proximedia and its teams will give us a strong position in the Belgian and Dutch markets and the benefit of its teams' expertise and strong track record with SME and VSB clients. The move is an extremely important step in expanding this business line within the Group."

Fabrice Wuyts, CEO of Proximedia, for his part stated, "Integration in the Publicis Group constitutes the culmination of more than 15 years of growth in providing digital services for our clients. We believe that the growth and innovation momentum that has been Proximedia's trademark since its inception will be continued and amplified as we move into this new phase of our business."

About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is one of the world's leading communications groups. The Groupe offers a full range of services and skills: digital (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi), advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events (MSLGROUP), media strategy, planning and buying (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia), healthcare communications, with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), and finally, brand asset production with Prodigious. Present in 108 countries, the Groupe employs 62,000 professionals.

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About Publicis Webformance

Publicis Webformance is a Publicis Groupe subsidiary specialized in web-based communications for very small businesses (VSBs), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the independent professions. Founded in 2010, Publicis Webformance puts the digital services expertise built up by Publicis Groupe at the disposal of all companies, irrespective of size or sector. It develops tools and products that enable entrepreneurs and SMEs to fully leverage Internet and its possibilities (website creation, e-commerce, search engine optimization through paid referencing).

Contacts
Publicis Groupe
Peggy Nahmany Corporate communications + 33 (0)1 44 43 72 83
Martine Hue Investor relations + 33 (0)1 44 43 65 00
Stéphanie Constand Investor relations + 33 (0)1 44 43 74 44
Publicis Webformance
Maxime Baffert CEO +33 (0)1 55 84 28 00

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Source:Publicis Groupe