Sorrell’s S4Capital ties up two more takover deals in $200m swoop

Simon English
·2 min read
<p>Sir Martin: deal hungry</p> (PA)

Sir Martin: deal hungry

(PA)

SIR MARTIN Sorrell is upping his growth plans post the Brexit trade deal, with two new deals worth $200 million today.

His S4Capital has bought ad agencies Decoded and Metric Theory – half for shares, half for cash – which will be merged into MediaMonks and MightyHive.

Sir Martin is on a mission to disrupt the traditional ad industry, not least WPP, which he built into a huge busines before leaving under an acrimonious cloud.

These deals take S4Capital’s headcount up by 330 to 3,400. Sir Martin promises more aggressive action soon.

S4 said: “Although unaffected by Brexit, given that much of the uncertainty has now, at last, been removed from the Brexit process, the Company will now implement even faster its strategy of creating a new age/new era advertising and marketing services model and deploy its digital capabilities even more effectively, not only in Europe, but in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle-East. Further moves will be announced shortly.”

Sir Martin said: “Both combinations continue our momentum, broadening our digital, strategic, creative, data and digital media capabilities in line with our objectives for 2021.”

The deal is the seventh acquisition by S4Capital since the March lockdown as digital spending soars, with consumers turning to online content in larger numbers.

Becky Lane, an analyst at Jefferies, said: “S4 benefits from structurally growing digital and tech advertising spend, the highest growth areas in global advertising.”

Decoded was founded in 2014 by Matt Rednor to “bridge the gap between meaningful storytelling, data-led optimizations and commerce” S4Capital said.

It has 200 staff in New York and Los Angeles, with clients including T-Mobile, Intuit, and Visa.

Sir Martin said: “Matt and his colleagues at Decoded share our vision of using data to develop and produce effective creative work and distribute campaigns through digital media.

“They have created an award-winning, highly successful agency, which will be a significant addition to the family.”

Metric Theory was founded in 2012 by four Ken Baker, Jeff Buenrostro, Jeremy Brown and Adam Edwards as an integrated performance marketing agency providing services across search, social media and commerce media, with clients including GofundMe, Zenefits, Very Great, Maisonette and Hill House Home.

It is also US-based with more than 130 people across San Francisco, Denver, New York and Orange County.