MONTRÉAL, May 4, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”), a global investment group, and CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”), a leading global private equity and investment advisory firm, have reached an agreement with BlueFocus Intelligent Communication Group for CDPQ and CVC Capital Partners Asia V to acquire a majority stake in its international group of agencies, managed under its subsidiary, BlueFocus International. This transaction will create a global platform headquartered in Quebec City for the three agency groups: Vision7 International which includes Cossette, Cossette Media, Eleven and Citizen Relations, as well as We Are Social (London, UK) and fuseproject (San Francisco, US).
This agreement will create a digital-first, technology-enabled global advertising and marketing services group of companies. This partnership will provide the new group with the capital to invest in its growth strategy, focused on market expansion, building its next generation of tech and data capabilities and expanding its talent base. The new entity has more than 2,500 employees, across 12 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
CDPQ’s and CVC’s global network and partnerships will provide the group with access to key strategic human and relationship capital, which will be important for its expansion plans.
“Our partnership with CDPQ and CVC, will allow us to advance our expansion and transformation strategy,” said Brett Marchand, Vision7 International’s President and CEO, who will lead the new combined entity as its new CEO. “This investment in geographic and capabilities expansion and next generation technology and data offering will provide leading-edge services for our clients and unparalleled development opportunities to our talented people all around the world.”
“CDPQ is very proud to take part in this transaction that will enable the creation of a new global communications and marketing group whose centre of expertise and headquarters will be in Québec,” said Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec and Stewardship Investing. “This investment aligns with our goal to support companies in their growth and globalization and will allow the company to carry out its ambitious development plan focusing on expanding in certain international markets.”
CVC is well positioned to support this strategy, given its experience gained through the successful expansion of international business services providers such as Alix Partners, Teneo and TMF Group. “CVC is impressed by the opportunity for accelerated growth,” said Scott Chen, Managing Director at CVC Capital Partners. “We couldn’t pass up the unique opportunity to invest in this group of leading, tech-enabled agencies and we look forward to working with their talented management teams to take each of the businesses to the next level.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be finalized in Q3 2021. No further terms are being disclosed. PJT Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor to BlueFocus Intelligent Communications Group and RBC Capital Markets acted as the financial advisor to BlueFocus International subsidiaries. White & Case and McCarthy Tetrault LLP acted as legal advisors to CVC, Fasken acted as legal advisor for CDPQ and Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal advisor to BlueFocus International subsidiaries