France’s Publicis increases presence in China with Longtuo buy

French advertising major Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB) said on Monday it had taken over Chinese digital marketing firm Longtuo, with significant e-commerce expertise in creative, customer acquisition, marketing solutions and measurement tools, without revealing the price.

With this deal, Publicis is looking to capture more of the fast-growing e-commerce market in China, which according to technology market researcher Forrester will reach USD94.6bn (EUR74m) this year, the buyer said. eMarketer expects the Chinese sector market to grow at an annual pace of above 92% in the next three years and become the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace by 2015, Publicis said.

The French group will integrate Longtuo into its owned Razorfish network and rename it Razorfish Longtuo China. Longtuo’s CEO and founder SU Yi will be appointed managing director at Razorfish Longtuo China.

Beijing-based Longtuo was set up in 2000 and has now 200 employees working at offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The combination will more than double Razorfish’s size which now has a staff of 130 offering e-commerce services.

This takeover continues Publicis Groupe’s strategy to double its size in China between 2010 and 2013, as part of an overall plan to substantially boost revenues from emerging markets and the digital sector.

Publicis has bought four Chinese agencies in the past four months, it said.

French luxury goods firm LVMH acquires Les Tanneries Roux

French luxury goods giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA:MC) said it had bought premium leather products manufacturer Les Tanneries Roux SAS without providing information on financial terms.

Jean-Claude Ricomard will retain his position as chairman and work to ensure that Les Tanneries Roux continues to follow its successful growth strategy in the years ahead.

The acquisition provides the latest evidence of LVMH’s drive to expand its expertise in the leather goods segment. In 2009, the company established Les Tanneries de la Comete SA in a joint venture partnership with Tannerie Masure. Last October, LVMH bought a 51% stake in Singapore-based Heng Long International Ltd, one of the leading global suppliers of crocodile skins.

Les Tanneries Roux was set up in 1803 in Romans-sur-Isere. The French group is considered the pioneer in the use of calf skins, whose smooth and supple quality makes them very suitable for high-end leather products. In the past two decades, Les Tanneries Roux has counted among its partners the likes of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Loewe, Celine and Moynat.

Present-day LVMH was created in 1987 through the merger of Moet Hennessy and Louis Vuitton. The French conglomerate owns a vast portfolio of luxury brands, among them Christian Dior, Givenchy, Dom Perignon, Dona Karan and Kenzo.

France’s Dassault agrees to acquire Canadian Gemcom Software

French software and consulting services group Dassault Systemes SA (EPA:DSY) has revealed it will take over Canadian mining industry software provider Gemcom Software International Inc in a cash deal worth around USD360m (EUR272.3m).

Bernard Charles, Dassault Systemes’ president and CEO, said the combination of Gemcom with the group’s 3D Experience platform would help its goal to model and simulate the planet with the aim of improving predictability, efficiency, safety and sustainability within the natural resources sector.
As a step towards that ambition, Dassault Systemes has created the new GEOVIA brand, the CEO added.

In turn, Gemcom expects the combination to enable it to offer global support to its customers and address global issues for them as a real partner, said its president and CEO, Rick Moignard, who will head the new GEOVIA organisation as CEO after the deal.

The transaction will also boost the buyer’s geographic presence in Australia, Africa, Canada, South America, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Indonesia and Russia, it said.

Gemcom’s 360 staff and management will remain in place, with its managers to further develop Dassault Systemes’ strategy of modeling the natural world.

Completion, subject to regulatory clearance, among other conditions, is expected in July 2012.

Gemcom is currently owned by JMI Equity Fund VI LP, The Carlyle Group LP and Pala Investments Holdings Limited. Its solutions are used in 5,500 operating mines and around 15,000 mining projects by all major miners in the world.