No Floundering About These Strategic And Tactical Acquisitions

  • Written By: D. Geller
  • Published: December 3 1999

Event Summary

Razorfish Inc. (Nasdaq: RAZF) announced that it has purchased Lee Hunt Associates and TSDesign, Inc. The combined value of the purchase was approximately $49 million. Razorfish specializes in Internet development, and brings strategic, creative ad technology solutions to its engagements. Lee Hunt Associates is a leading branding and marketing company in the entertainment industry; it has design and production experience with both print and video. TSDesign is similar to Razorfish as a website design and implementation firm, but has a specialization in user interface design and analysis.

Market Impact

The space of high-end web-site design is a very crowded one that we believe is not close to a final shakeout. However, Razorfish's moves both look like the beginnings of a consolidation, and make sense in their own right. Lee Hunt Associates brings both expertise and entree into the glamorous world of Hollywood. Lee Hunt (the individual) will become head of Razorfish's broadband solutions group. Razorfish is clearly confident that the "broadband revolution" is coming, and beyond the immediate value of access to such Lee Hunt clients as Disney and MSNBC, this move is certainly part of a strategy to be a leading provider when that revolution finally arrives. TSDesign's special expertise in usability analysis will augment Razorfish's existing design capabilities. CEO and founder Terry Swack will become Vice-President of experience design.

User Recommendations

In the short-run, the acquisition of TSDesign is probably the more important factor for a company seeking web design services. If for no other reason, one of TSDesign's offerings is a usability analysis called the User Experience Auditsm. Engaging TSDesign for an audit of your current website or preliminary design will provide useful information and a good introduction to Razorfish's capabilities.

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