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Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital reveals two more takeovers

Simon Neville, PA City Editor
·2-min read

Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital has bought two new businesses as the advertising mogul looks to continue growing his new agency.

The deal sees S4Capital buy integrated agencies Decoded and Metric Theory which will be folded into MediaMonks and MightyHive.

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.”

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell has announced two new acquisitions by his new agency S4Capital. (Aaron Chown/PA)

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.

The company also said that with a Brexit trade deal finally signed, it will allow the business to focus efforts to grow globally, with more deals due to be announced.

It means S4Capital’s headcount of 3,400 will increase by around 330 employees as Sir Martin looks to rebuild his empire after leaving global giant WPP, which he founded, in acrimonious circumstances in 2018.

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

“S4’s disruptive ‘new-age’ model (integrated data + content + programmatic) and unitary structure facilitate client conversion, capitalising on these trends.

“Digital marketing and data consultancy have never been more relevant: We see Covid-19 as a positive catalyst, reflected in recent commentary that S4 is seeing a significant acceleration of digital transformation initiatives in non-tech verticals.”

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.

Bosses expect the deal will create gross profits of around 70 million dollars (£51 million) for 2020, up 50% on 2019, with the takeover made half in cash and half in shares of S4Capital.

The business added that based on the first 11 months of 2020 revenues continue to be in line with analyst expectations with gross profits between £279 million and £300 million.