Dentsu has launched a tender offer to acquire a stake in Septeni Holdings, a Japanese digital marketing company, for 6.9 billion yen (US$62 million). Dentsu aims to take a 20.99% stake, with the tender set to close on 11 December.
Septeni is listed on the JASDAQ Standard of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Founded in 1990 as an HR company, it ventured into internet advertising in 2000. That now makes up its core business, with a focus on social media marketing and app development, alongside manga content production.
In a legal document relating to the bid, Dentsu indicated that the deal is a move to make its standalone digital arm, Dentsu Digital, more competitive. It pointed to the “increasing complexity of client business issues” and said it wanted to grow its services in the fields of business design, client management and business development. As part of this, it is looking to incorporate technology to solve business issues such as CRM, marketing automation and database consulting, it said.
Dentsu noted that Septeni faces the challenges of a maturing market and commoditisation, and would gain access to around 6,000 clients. Dentsu said it planned to invest in Septeni’s sales, consulting and creative services; development of “internet media”; promotion of manga content; security and other systemic improvements; and further related M&A activity.
In 2016, Septeni acquired Lion & Lion, a Malaysia-based digital creative agency, in a bid to strengthen its footing in Southeast Asia.