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Agency.com Acquires French Interactive Agency

Internet services firm Agency.com on Tuesday purchased the part of French agency Pictoris Interactive SA that it didn't already own, for a total of $12.1 million.

Agency.com had bought a minority stake in Pictoris Interactive back in October 1999, and, at that time, had gotten an option to purchase the rest of the 55-employee company.

It exercised that option this week, in an effort to strengthen the company's European presence at a time when US Internet companies are scrambling to establish themselves overseas.

"The acquisition of Pictoris positions Agency.com Paris as a leading interactive agency in the French market and is an important extension to our European capabilities, a key growth area of the company," says Chan Suh, chairman and chief executive officer of Agency.com.

This purchase brings the Agency.com Paris employee roster to 65, and creates a client list that includes market leaders such as DisneyLand Paris, Danone, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Accor and AXA, among others. Frederic Pie, who had been president of Pictoris Interactive, will take the helm as president of the Paris office.

Agency.com has offices in London, Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, but has not put as much emphasis on Europe as fellow Omnicom investment Razorfish.

That company yesterday acquired another Swedish consultancy, and says half of its workforce is deployed in Europe. Razorfish has offices in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, Mannheim, Oslo, and Stockholm.