Will Create One of the Largest Interactive Ad Agencies

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NEW YORK ( -- Online advertising company aQuantive Inc. has agreed to buy SBI. Razorfish from New York-based SBI Group for $160 million, according to the company.

The acquisition will "create one of the largest interactive agencies," Brian McAndrews, president-CEO of aQuantive, said in a statement.

500 employees
The privately held Razorfish has more than 500 employees, with offices across the country, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco, and a client list that includes Ford Motor Co., Kraft and Microsoft.

Seattle-based aQuantive said it plans to combine its media-buying division, Avenue A, with Razorfish. The combined entity will be known as Avenue A/Razorfish, and will be the new brand for the company's interactive agency. Razorfish specializes in corporate Web site design. Avenue A specializes in media buying.

A third full-service interactive agency, iFrontier, which is based in Philadelphia, will retain its brand identity and be part of aQuantive's digital marketing group, said Angela Gamba, director of public relations for aQuantive.

'Very large agency'
"AQuantive is now a very large agency," said Nate Elliott, associate analyst at Jupiter Research. "With Razorfish, they have filled in one of the key gaps in their offerings and they've done it with a very good brand name."

In 2003, the combined revenue for Avenue A, iFrontier and SBI.Razorfish was $145.5 million. Razorfish alone had revenue of $93 million, achieving profit after struggling through the dot-com bust.

In addition to the marketing area, aQuantive units are Atlas DMT, which includes third-party ad-serving and a search engine marketing, and DRIVEpm, which offers ad-serving solutions.

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