The big news of the week was Microsoft’s sale of Razorfish to Publicis (see directly below), but there were a few other important deals in software, biotech, and energy.
—Microsoft’s online advertising subsidiary, Seattle-based Razorfish, was bought by French marketing firm Publicis for approximately $530 million, as Bob reported. The payment is expected to include cash and Publicis Groupe treasury shares. In addition, Microsoft and Publicis have entered into a five-year strategic alliance whereby Publicis clients can purchase display and search advertising from Microsoft on favorable terms. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) originally acquired Razorfish in its 2007 purchase of aQuantive.
—Bellevue, WA-based Confirma, a medical imaging software firm, has been acquired by Merge Healthcare, a Milwaukee, WI-based health IT provider, for about $22 million, as Eric reported. Merge will incorporate Confirma’s MRI software into its IT offerings for doctors.
—Vancouver, BC-based Tekmira (TSX: TKM) formed a two-year partnership with Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to develop new particles to deliver RNA-interference drugs to diseased cells deep in the body, as Ryan reported. Financial terms of the deal weren’t given. Alnylam is funding the research effort and has exclusive rights to new discoveries, while Tekmira can use the discoveries for some of its own RNAi treatment programs.
—Seattle-based EnerG2 won $21.3 million in federal stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a new manufacturing plant in Albany, OR. The University of Washington energy-storage spinout is developing nano-scale materials to make better ultracapacitors for electric and hybrid vehicles and other applications.
—A few more terms of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal, in which Yahoo will use Bing as its search engine and will control ad sales for five years, were spelled out in a filing with the SEC. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will pay Yahoo $50 million a year for three years to cover transition and implementation costs. It will also hire 400 Yahoo employees, plus another 150 to assist with the transition. Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) can opt out of the deal if it isn’t approved within a year, or if Microsoft and Yahoo’s combined share of the search market dips below an undisclosed percentage.
—Seattle-based Oncothyreon (NASDAQ: ONTY), a developer of cancer drugs, raised $15 million by securing commitments from investors to buy new shares and warrants, as Luke reported. Last week, the company said a small group of lung cancer patients showed long-lasting responses after taking Stimuvax, the immune-boosting vaccine therapy Oncothyreon is co-developing with Germany-based Merck KGaA.
—Seattle-based WatchGuard Technologies, a network security company, acquired Toronto-based BorderWare Technologies, an e-mail and Web security firm, as Eric reported. Financial terms were not given. WatchGuard plans to use BorderWare’s technology to make its security software more comprehensive and competitive.