Mergers & Acquisitions

Accenture buys PacificLink as digital marketing services in China take off

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 July, 2015, 1:36pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 July, 2015, 1:36pm

Global management and technology consulting giant Accenture has snapped up a digital services agency in Hong Kong to tap growing demand in China, where e-commerce is booming, and take its operations there to “the next level,” the company announced this week. 

It acquired PacificLink Group last week for an undisclosed amount to escalate its digital strategy and interactive marketing services, it said.

In a bid to keep pace with its competition, Accenture has been sharpening its focus on digital marketing, mobility and analytics since launching its Accenture Digital platform in December 2013.

It has now built another bridge to China.

“This is our largest acquisition in terms of digital marketing resources in Asia,” Patricio De Matteis, the managing director at Accenture Interactive Asia-Pacific, told the South China Morning Post.

The deal brings to the Accenture fold a group of digital agencies including PacificLink iMedia, Pixo Punch, LemonXL, AvantBiz Consulting and DMA Solutions, as well as their top-tier clients in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

PacificLink, which also has offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Taipei, covers financial services, food and beverages, cosmetics, property, entertainment, education, fast-moving consumer goods and retail.

“PacificLink gives us a scale in greater China that takes us to the next level. We want to invest more aggressively,” De Matteis said.

Accenture, which posted revenue of US$30 billion in its last fiscal year, offers integrated digital transformation, marketing content and e-commerce solutions to various international brands through its Accenture Interactive business unit.

Its latest purchase is expected to help it gain ground against rival global consulting firms in the digital marketing services arena, such as McKinsey & Company and Deloitte.

PacificLink has worked with digital campaigns for Estee Lauder, Adidas, Microsoft and Gianni Versace, among other high-profile clients.

Jason Chau, the managing director at Accenture Interactive Greater China, said the immediate target was existing clients of both companies that have operations in China.

The integration shows “our commitment to address the needs of chief marketing officers and chief information officers in greater China as they strive to bridge the gap between marketing and digital technologies,” Chau said.

Accenture has been on a buying spree of late to shore up its digital capabilities.

It recently purchased US technology studio Chaotic Moon, known for its rapid prototyping of digital products for major brands, such as the Walt Disney Company.

Other acquisitions include Australian digital agency Reactive Media, British design consultancy Fjord and American digital production house avVenta Worldwide.