Hakuhodo took full ownership of the agency as well as a 49 per cent stake in Sid Lee Architecture.Sid Lee has offices in six Canadian cities, the US, France and the Netherlands. Sid Lee counts Absolut, Adidas and Samsung among its clients. A spokesperson from Hakuhodo explained that Canadian law required an investment in the architectural subsidiary, but declined to provide further information on the implications for kyu and Hakuhodo DY Holdings.
Disciplines Sid Lee covers range from advertising, social marketing and CRM to interior design, events and store activation. A statement from Hakuhodo describes the company as “an innovator recognised for its ability to transform the brand experience”. It has a staff of around 550.
Sid Lee's leadership will remain in place in Montreal. The announcement carried on Sid Lee's site points to the chance to "expand the Sid Lee brand around the world" and to "benefit from Hakuhodo DY Holdings' vast capabilities in Asia".
In kyu's statement, Sid Lee CEO Jean-Francois Bouchard says the acquisition will allow the agency to develop into a "fully deployed global brand and network over the next decade".
"We were looking for the proper way to expand our footprint to Asia while solidly maintaining our headquarters in Montreal," he said. "Teaming up with such a leading Asian organisation will dramatically accelerate our achievement of this goal."
Hakuhodo explained in its statement that the acquisition of Sid Lee is part of an ongoing plan to respond to the increasing complexity of the marketing industry. It outlines its three areas of focus as strengthening consumer-driven marketing capabilities, strengthening business structure in emerging markets, and the “continuous enhancement of specialization and innovation”.
The spokesperson from Hakuhodo noted that Sid Lee would remain an independent company within Hakuhodo DY Group, and said there were no immediate plans to expand into Asia.
In June, Hakuhodo acquired Digital Kitchen, a US content marketing agency.