Dentsu inks joint venture with Chinese independent agency BlueFocus

Japanese advertising group Dentsu has formed a Beijing-based joint venture with Chinese independent PR agency BlueFocus, a one-time target of Huntsworth Group.

Blue Focus...acquisition speculation
Blue Focus...acquisition speculation

Blue Focus will hold a 51 per cent stake in Dentsu BlueFocus, with Dentsu holding 34 per cent and Dentsu PR 15 per cent.

One of China's leading independents, BlueFocus has often been the subject of acquisition speculation. A bidding war for the firm broke out in 2005, pushing the agency's price up and culminating in Huntsworth Group emerging as a likely buyer. The deal was never consumnated, with sources pointing to a poor cultural fit.

Since then, BlueFocus has suggested it is considering a stock market flotation. The deal with Dentsu creates a RMB10m (£1m) PR agency, headed by BlueFocus VP Luo Bin. The agency counts 15 employees, and is chaired by Dentsu China executive officer Kunihiro Matsushima.

According to the release, the 14-year-old BlueFocus is worth RMB60m (£6m). The agency claims 650 employees across China, a substantial increase on its 260 staffers in 2006.

Previously, BlueFocus set up a joint venture with Porter Novelli, called Porter Novelli China.


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