Japanese-owned Hakuhodo, the globe's eighth largest agency network, has formed a joint venture with world number one Omnicom.

The deal will see TBWA\Tokyo merged into Hakuhodo\G1, with the Japanese group holding 60% of the stock and the balance by Omnicom. The new operation, employing over three hundred staff, will open for business on July 1.

Helming the joint venture as chief executive is Hakuhodo\G1 president/ceo Hiroshi Ochiai. TBWA/Tokyo's president/ceo Gary Wenzel becomes chief operating officer.

The deal revolves around the Nissan account, controlled worldwide by Hakuhodo\G1. Back in 1990, the two agency groups began working together on the Nissan Europe business and in 2000 they jointly set-up G1 Worldwide in support of Nissan's global branding efforts.

And last December the twosome got cosier yet in China where they launched another cooperative project, TBWA\Hakuhodo China.

The new Tokyo agency will not focus solely on Nissan; it will continue to service existing TBWA clients in Japan - among them Adidas, Masterfoods and Haagen Dazs.

Assures Hakuhodo\G1's Ochiai "Our greatest commitment is to our partner clients, whom we will provide the kind of bold and novel global-quality ideas that only come from an environment where free and considered thinking are actively encouraged."

Wenzel too was in rah-rah mode: "Several of us on the new management team have worked together for a number of years. We have great respect for each other, and we share the same vision and values for our exciting new venture."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff