Microsoft Pitching Razorfish to Ad Firms

The software maker has contacted five of the world's biggest advertising companies about a deal to buy its digital ad agency Razorfish, a report says.
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Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

is pitching to five of the world's biggest advertising companies a deal to buy its digital ad agency Razorfish, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing executives familiar with the situation.

The pitch from the software giant includes a proposal to use Microsoft's advertising technologies and possibly buy hundreds of millions of dollars of ad space across its Web properties, the

Journal

reports.

Ad companies

WPP

(SYMBOL)

,

Omnicom

(OMC) - Get Report

and

Publicis

have expressed interest in Razorfish and are considering a more extensive commercial relationship with Microsoft, according to the newspaper. Microsoft also has contacted

Interpublic

(IPG) - Get Report

and

Dentsu

.

Morgan Stanley

has been hired by Microsoft to shop Razorfish.

Razorfish has about 2,000 workers and had about $400 million in revenue in 2008. A deal to buy it could include agreements to use Microsoft's digital advertising services or to buy ad space across Microsoft's digital properties, the

Journal

notes, citing the people close to the situation.

The talks between Microsoft and the ad agencies are preliminary and any deal isn't likely to happen for at least a couple of months, the

Journal

reports. One person familiar with Microsoft's thinking notes that Microsoft still hasn't made a firm decision to sell Razorfish.

The price of a transaction could range widely, from as low as $400 million to hundreds of millions of dollars more, the newspaper says.

Spokespeople for Dentsu, WPP and Publicis declined to comment, for the

Journal

, while a spokesperson for Omnicom couldn't be reached for comment.

Microsoft bought Razorfish in 2007 as part of its $6 billion purchase of

aQuantive

.