Aegis Accelerates Chinese Search Roll-Up, Expands Into 'Second Tier' Markets

Aegis Group this morning unveiled its second significant investment in a digital agency in China this week, announcing a “strategic” stake in Chinese search marketing shop PinZhong (also known as “PZoom”).

Aegis said it acquired an undisclosed share of the agency for $3.74 million, and described it as a “partnership” consistent with its strategy of “acquiring businesses in faster-growing regions and which add digital capability and reach.”

In the case of PZoom, Aegis said the deal would bolster Aegis’ search capabilities in China’s “second tier” cities that would complement Aegis’ iProspect network in China.

On Monday, Aegis acquired a majority stake in Beijing-based Adsit Technology Co. to form iProspect China, a joint venture that would rank as one of China’s biggest search and “intent-based” agency networks.



Aegis said iProspect will form a “trading and development alliance” with PZoom that would expand each organization’s footprint nationally across China.

“By formalizing a partnership with PZoom, Aegis also expects to extend client opportunities to its other global network brands of Carat, Vizeum and Isobar,” the agency said, indicating that the roll-up has implications for more than just pure-play search marketing in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Aegis’ rapid succession of Chinese deals comes as the London-based agency holding company itself is about to be merged into Asia’s largest agency holding company, Tokyo-based Dentsu.

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