Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Longtuo will be part of the Groupe-owned Razorfish network and will be named Razorfish Longtuo China.
PARIS, May 14, 2012 -- Publicis Groupe [EURONEXT Paris: FR0000130577] today announced it has acquired Beijing-based Longtuo, a digital marketing company with strong eCommerce expertise in creative, customer acquisition, marketing solutions and measurement tools. Longtuo will be part of the Groupe-owned Razorfish network and will be named Razorfish Longtuo China.
Founded in 2000, Longtuo employs 200 people throughout its Beijing headquarters and Shanghai and Guangzhou offices. The addition of Longtuo will more than double the size of Razorfish in China, which currently employs 130 people and provides e-Commerce services to clients such as Converse, Hertz, and GM Onstar.
Longtuo serves a prestigious roster of Chinese marketers including 360buy, Kohler, Masamaso, Taobao (the country's two largest B2C e-Commerce portals) and Yves Rocher. Longtuo also contracts work for Renault, providing website development and content management, as well as traffic measurement and analysis.
The acquisition of Longtuo will give Publicis Groupe more commanding clout in China's booming e-Commerce market, which Forrester projects to be a $94.6 billion business in 2012. eMarketer estimates the market to grow at more than 92% annually for the next three years and forecasts China will become the world's largest e-Commerce marketplace by 2015.
Longtuo's CEO and founding partner, SU Yi, will become Managing Director of Razorfish Longtuo China, and will report to Vincent Digonnet, President of Razorfish Asia Pacific and Executive Chairman of Razorfish Greater China.
"The Longtuo acquisition establishes Razorfish as a Chinese leader in digital marketing services," said Bob Lord, CEO of Razorfish and member of the VivaKi Board of Directors. "By integrating Longtuo with Razorfish, we are expanding the e-Commerce services we deliver to our multinational clients, while providing all local and global marketers a comprehensive offer and proprietary tools that extend across the entire e-Commerce consumer journey."
Jean-Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe COO and Chairman of Publicis Groupe China added: "The forecasts for e-Commerce growth in China are spectacular. With new advances in payment technology, broadband access and safe delivery systems making e-Commerce an attractive alternative to retail shops, China has the potential to become the world's premier e-Commerce market very swiftly, outstripping even the United States. This acquisition means we're now perfectly positioned to offer our international clients first-in-class local expertise. In addition, with 70% of e-Commerce spending in China currently going to Chinese businesses, Longtuo opens our doors to a number of key clients. The Groupe is accelerating our drive to meet our ambitious targets for growth in China."
"The alignment of Longtuo and Razorfish in China combines two growing concerns to create a market leading e-Commerce partner for a rapidly expanding roster of clients," said SU Yi, founder and managing partner of Longtuo. "We are thrilled to leverage the scale and clout of Publicis Groupe to build a stronger proposition for our clients."
The acquisition of Longtuo is another step towards Publicis Groupe's objective to double its size in the fast-growing Chinese market between 2010 and 2013. This goal is part of an overall strategy of strongly boosting revenue derived from emerging economies and from the digital sector. In the past four months Publicis Groupe has acquired four agencies based in China: UBS (February 2012), King Harvests (March 2012), Luminous (March 2012) and now Longtuo. Since 2010, the Groupe has acquired W&K (April 2010) G4 (July 2010) Eastwei Relations (November 2010), Interactive Communications Ltd (February 2011), Dreams (May 2011), Genedigi (June 2011), Wangfan (November 2011), and Gomye (November 2011).
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, part of the CAC 40 index] is the third largest communications group in the world, offering the full range of services and skills: digital and traditional advertising, public affairs and events, media buying and specialized communication. Its major networks are Leo Burnett, MSLGROUP, PHCG (Publicis Healthcare Communications Group), Publicis Worldwide, Rosetta and Saatchi & Saatchi. VivaKi, the Groupe's media and digital accelerator, includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. Present in 104 countries, the Groupe employs 54,000 professionals.
http://www.publicisgroupe.com | Twitter:@PublicisGroupe | Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/publicisgroupe
VivaKi is part of Publicis Groupe (euronext paris exchange:FR0000130577)(euronext paris exchange:and part of the CAC 40 index) the world's third largest communications group. VivaKi aggregates the marketplace influence of four autonomous brands, including two global media agency networks: ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest Group; and two leading digital marketing agencies: Digitas and Razorfish. On behalf of its agency brands and their clients, VivaKi faces the market to help identify and build technology, message distribution, audience aggregation and content solutions for the future. Sitting inside of VivaKi is the VivaKi Nerve Center, which serves as a think tank, R&D center and testing ground to activate new pathways for clients to connect with consumers in an increasingly digital world. VivaKi also includes a Talent & Transformation Practice, which leverages the scale of the VivaKi brands to develop and deliver tools and approaches designed to attract, develop, train, motivate and reward the world's best people.
Longtuo is a China based Digital and eCommerce service Agency which positions itself at the confluence of creative, eCommerce and digital marketing with a complete range of digital services. The company has 200 employees in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Their underlying philosophy is based on a belief that in an age of eCommerce, versus developing content around a marketer's products and services, marketers must take an ecosystem approach, with the capability to instrument and measure the entire customer journey through the sales funnel, from ad exposure through to conversion to repeat purchase.