CDPQ, CVC acquire majority stake in BlueFocus agencies

The new deal aims to help the firms, including Vision7, pursue growth after the Blue Impact spin-off was shelved last year.

Quebec-based global investment group Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners have jointly acquired a majority stake in BlueFocus International.

Back in 2019, a deal between BlueFocus and Legacy Acquisition aimed to create a new holdco, Blue Impact, comprised of BlueFocus’ agencies based outside of China, including Vision7, and reflected a renewed focus on media in Canada.

However, last summer, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the advertising sector led Legacy Acquisition to terminate the agreement before it could close.

The new deal between China’s BlueFocus, CDPQ and CVC will create a platform encompassing most of the same agencies included in the Blue Impact deal: Vision7 International – including Cossette Media, Cossette, Eleven, the Camps agencies and Citizen Relations – London’s We are Social and fuseproject in San Francisco.

The new entity will be led by Vision7′s Brett Marchand as president and CEO. The spin-off from BlueFocus will reportedly provide the new group with the opportunity to invest in tech innovation, data capabilities, expand internationally and grow the organization’s talent base. The new entity has more than 2,500 employees, across 12 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, and will be headquartered in Quebec City.

The deal is expected to close in Q3. No further terms of the deal were disclosed.