Aegis moves into China with Charm venture

MARKETING group Aegis is to extend its presence in China by forming a joint venture with Charm, a leading agency which handles much of the advertising placed on the country’s largest national TV network.

Aegis said in a statement yesterday it would acquire 17.7 per cent of Charm Communications and form a joint venture between its Vizeum arm and the Chinese firm which will operate as Vizeum China.

Vizeum’s China operation will form the initial 40 per cent of the joint venture’s revenues and Charm will transfer local clients to form the remaining 60 per cent. The structure will change over time and move towards 100 per cent Aegis ownership by 2024.

Jerry Buhlmann, the chief executive of Aegis Media, said the deal would transform Aegis’ prospects in China. Charm is one of the largest brokers to China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s largest national TV network. The gross assets of Charm are $143m (£88.6m), Aegis said.

“China is already the second largest advertising spending market in the world,” he said. “Charm is a great business with a strong management team and a track record of profitable growth.”