Dentsu Acquires Attik

NEW YORK Dentsu America has purchased Attik, a digital and design shop in San Francisco, sources said.

Attik, which launched Toyota’s Scion brand in the U.S. in 2003, will remain a separate operating unit within the Japanese company’s domestic operations, per sources.

Tim Andree, CEO of Dentsu America, declined comment. Executives at Attik could not be immediately reached.

The move is in keeping with ongoing consolidation in the space that includes Publicis Groupe’s acquisition of Boston-based i-shop Digitas in January. WPP Group has also been active in the space; the holding company completed its purchase of 350-person digital shop Blast Radius this week; earlier this year, it bought 24/7 Real Media, Refinery and Schematic.

In addition to Toyota, Attik works for clients such as Boost cellphones, ExpressJet and, in the U.K., Coca-Cola and Adidas.

Attik’s management team will remain in place and the company will continue to be headquartered in San Francisco, according to sources. Its West Hollywood, Calif., office will move into Dentsu’s Santa Monica, Calif., location and, in New York, the agency’s operations will migrate to Dentsu’s Tribeca space, sources said.

With the acquisition of Attik, which employs approximately 85 staffers, it is believed that Dentsu’s U.S. operations double in size.

Terms of the acquisition could not be determined.

Attik was founded as a graphic design firm in Huddersfield, England, in 1986 by Simon Needham and James Sommerville. The art students so named the company because they set up their business in the attic space at the house of Sommerville’s grandmother.

Needham, now based in San Francisco, will remain Attik’s creative director and Sommerville, located in Leeds, England, will be its U.K. cd. Richard Peralta, Attik’s group CEO, will become president of Attik in the U.S., according to sources.

Attik has made a reputation for itself in digital and alternative media and its focus on the Gen Y demographic. Attik approached Dentsu, which counts Toyota as one of its biggest U.S. clients, about striking a partnership, sources said.

Andree, a former Toyota exec in the U.S. and Japan, was named Dentsu’s American CEO in May 2006. He has said he wants to make acquisitions to add additional talent and resources to Dentsu, which has never been a significant U.S. player despite having a 30-year presence in the market. (In the U.S., Dentsu’s clients include Canon, HarperCollins, Sage Software, Bandai Toys and Newton Vineyards.)