07.06.22 M&A Transactions
3 min to read

Leaf has successfully assisted HAVAS Group to acquire award-winning digital marketing agency Front Networks in China

Havas announced on March 29, 2022 the acquisition of Front Networks, an award-winning independent creative agency focusing on social and digital marketing in China.

Leaf advised Havas in the acquisition of the control of this domestic company including the structuring, the due diligence and negotiations of the contractual documentation related to this transaction.

Front Networks will integrate into the Havas Creative network. Its expertise in timely and effective digital storytelling, creating engaging digital content and channel mapping, as well as its enterprise philosophy of Connectivity + Creativity + Collectivity, will bring additional creative and digital firepower to Havas in China.

Front Networks currently has two offices in Beijing and Shanghai, providing a full range of digital marketing services, with a team of more than 200 people. Founded in 2004 by Felix Teng it has always been at the forefront of digital evolution in China and is trusted by more than 200 international clients across sectors such as automotive, finance, sports, software, home appliances, personal electronics, artificial intelligence and more, including BMW, Rolls-Royce, Vivo, Microsoft, Columbia, Casarte, Bank of China, Nestlé etc.

The award-winning team has been picking up accolades in the last decade too. Front Networks were awarded the 2020 IAI International Advertising Marketing / Publicity Gold Award, the 2016 TMA Creative Gold Award, and the Golden Mouse Social Marketing Gold Award in 2014.

Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO Havas Group, comments: “China has always been of strategic importance to us and I am thrilled to see we are keeping up the same drive and momentum in this market. China is evolving and diversifying at a rapid pace, presenting us with many opportunities for growth. By partnering with the best there is to offer in China, Havas Group will surely create more meaningful moments and value for all our clients, consumers, brands and communities. We are delighted to welcome Felix and the teams to the Havas Family.”

Karl Wu, Chairman and CEO of Havas Group Greater China, says: “In the 20 years since its formation, Front Networks has proven its business strength, agility and adaptability during China’s digital emergence and evolution. Amid the arrival of the metaverse, bringing Front Networks on board is an important strategic step to further enrich our digital solutions for our clients in China. Under our one Havas Village roof, we will together continue our mission to create meaningful differences for brands, businesses and people.”

Felix Teng, Founder and CEO at Front Networks, says: “We pride ourselves in having been recognized by Havas, the industry leader in integration and entrepreneurship. With the Group’s resources and empowering tools, we will be able to broaden our horizon, extend our solutions and add scale to the depth of our services. Their philosophy is very exciting and we are looking forward to doing more meaningful things together.”

Jean-Philippe Engel, Partner at Leaf comments: “we are proud to have assisted Havas in this transaction which illustrates again the expertise of Leaf in the cross-border transactions in the digital and social media industries.”

About Havas

Havas is one of the world’s largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group employs 20,000 people in more than 100 countries and operates through its three business units covering all communication activities. Havas Group’s mission is to make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people. To better anticipate client needs, Havas has adopted a fully integrated model through its 60+ Havas Villages around the world. In these Villages, creative, media and healthcare & wellness teams work together, ensuring agility and a seamless experience for clients. We are committed to building a diverse culture where everybody feels they belong, can be themselves, thrive and grow. Havas Group integrated into Vivendi in December 2017.

For more information: www.havasgroup.com

About Front Networks

Front Networks is an independent digital and social agency founded in 2004. Headquartered in Beijing, with a branch office in Shanghai, it currently employs more than 200 professionals and specialists. Having served more than 200 international brands, Front Networks maintains solid partnerships with all its clients by always building synergy and professional chemistry.

For more information: www.frontnetworks.com

About Leaf

Leaf is a multi-awarded corporate law firm specialized in operations in Asia.

Leaf is advising international corporations and mid-cap enterprises to safely complete their cross-border operations and their joint-ventures with state-owned and private partners. We also assist our clients in their strategic operations across Asia or to structure investments in Asian-based start-ups.

The team is composed of international corporate lawyers based in China and in France.

For further information:

Jean-Philippe Engel: jp.engel@leaf-legal.com

Bruno Grangier: b.grangier@leaf-legal.com

Website: www.leaf-legal.com