The Chinese brand management company BlueFocus Communication Group (BFCG) is set to acquire a 75 percent stake in the groundbreaking bi-coastal industrial design studio Fuseproject headed by Yves Béhar. Fuseproject is a full-service agency with a unique business model extending to a venture practice, and with a focus on sustainable design. BFCG, a $3.7 billion listed company, was described by Béhar as “an innovative media conglomerate that recognizes how important good design is to storytelling.” Following pending regulatory approval, Béhar will remain CEO of Fuseproject and the deal will allow the studio to scale up.
Béhar founded Fuseproject in 1999, and the firm has collaborated with clients as diverse as SodaStream, Herman Miller, PayPal and One Laptop Per Child. Fuseproject currently has 75 employees across its San Francisco and New York studios. “The deal is better than I could have imagined, as we still have the freedom to run Fuse the way it should be run, with the means to grow on a global scale … It will be business as usual, as we keep serving our clients and partners as we always have, but on a bigger scale with the benefits of the partnership which our new shareholder brings,” Béhar said in a recent statement.
BFCG was founded in 2008. Its website describes it as “the market leader for brand management solutions in the Chinese market,” and states its “major service offerings cover digital marketing, public relations, advertising, event management, and international businesses.” Oscar Zhao, BFCG’s founder, chairman and CEO, stated: “[Fuseproject] is our first acquisition in the U.S. and its design, strategic and brand specialization brings a new dimension to the range of services we can offer to our client base. We see Fuseproject as a pioneer in venture-backed design, creating a complete design, branding and consumer experience. It will boost the marketing communication capability of BlueFocus going forward for new companies and Fortune 500s alike.”
Béhar added, “Fuseproject exists to do the new and different. This will not change … in fact, it will be even more possible with the strength and reach of BF as our partner … Partnering with BlueFocus allows us to build a stronger and more stable foundation for the future.”
Photos by Fuseproject