Robert Sawatzky
Apr 27, 2020

Hakuhodo takes control of Taiwanese agency group Growww Media

Addition of five agency brands including United Communications Group and Interplan adds 711 new employees and substantial marketing and activation capabilities.

Hakuhodo takes control of Taiwanese agency group Growww Media

Hakuhodo has acquired a majority stake in major Taiwanese independent agency group Growww Media, making it a consolidated subsidiary, the agency announced.  

The deal greatly expands Hakuhodo's capabilities in Taiwan with the acquisition of that market's oldest full-service advertising group, United Communications Group and the addition of key activations and events agencies in Interplan Group and KY-Post. Other agencies in Growww Media's umbrella include communications-led firm Pilot Group and digital agency Medialand. 

Back in February, Hakuhodo announced it was prepared to pay up to NT$1.85 billion (US$62 million) to pursue a majority stake between 50% and 78.1% of Growww, depending on the number of shares tendered to its offer. 

In a release, Hakuhodo says marrying its creativity, consumer data and digital marketing knowledge with Growww's skills and track record "will generate huge synergies" and client growth in Taiwan. Hakuhodo further says it will consider supporting Taiwanese clients looking to enter overseas markets through Hakuhodo’s global network as well. 

Yet at the same time, client work and data will still be managed separately. "Growww Media’s brands and the Hakuhodo Group’s existing companies in Taiwan will continue to be independent of each other," the release states, "and there will be no sharing of confidential client information between them."

Growww Media management team

“Becoming a member of the Hakuhodo Group, an internationally recognized group with a long history, is a very important step" said Growww Media president Vince Cheng. "Growww Media can immediately benefit from the Hakuhodo Group’s global resources, including tools, research data, talent, and market knowledge to strengthen our client services. We are confident this partnership will contribute greatly to the growth of our group.”

As the first agency group to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Growww Media's stock price has been slowly rising over the past two years.  Shares closed flat on Monday, since the stock already received its boost following news of Hakuhodo's acquisition intentions in late February.

Source: Google Finance

Growww's ops: 5 agency brands

United Communications Group
Established: 1970
Business: Taiwan’s oldest integrated advertising group with branding, creative, media buying, digital marketing, research, PR and other companies under its umbrella. 

Interplan Group
Established: 1982
Business: Planning and operation of large events such as the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade opening ceremony, and large exhibitions. Also contracted with the administration of Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, an international convention center in Kaohsiung.

Established: 1991
Business: Planning and operation of events and exhibitions targeting consumers and companies, and office and retail space design. Also actively handles event work outside of Taiwan.

Pilot Group
Established: 1996
Business: Provides cross-disciplinary public relations design, including traditional media, digital, and key opinion leader recruitment, as well as consulting, crisis management and other services in a wide range of industries, including IT, fashion, everyday consumer goods.

Established: 2002
Business: A top-class full-service digital agency in Taiwan that provides one-stop strategy planning, creative and media buying in the digital marketing domain. Offers cutting-edge digital services, including a specialized UI/UX team and proprietary data management platform services.


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