Is this an augury for 2021? As the business world struggles to get back to something like normal in the second wave of the pandemic, Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital is one of the first out of the blocks, announcing two sizeable acquisitions in the US – or “combinations” as it now terms them.
Integrated agency Decoded Advertising, which employs around 200 people in New York and LA, is being added to S4’s content empire based on MediaMonks while data-based performance agency Metric Theory is joining S4’s digital media operation, built around MightyHive. Metric theory employs 130 people in San Francisco, Denver, New York and Orange County.
The two deals are worth an estimated £146m.
S4 also says it’s on target to meet analysts’ targets of between £270m and £300m gross profit. It reports its full 2020 figures in March.
S4 executive chairman Sorrell says: “Both combinations continue our momentum, broadening our digital, strategic, creative, data & digital media capabilities in line with our objectives for 2021.
“Matt (Rednor) 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.
“Our data and digital media practice is founded on providing clients with transparency and measurable results, two values at the heart of the business Ken (Baker) and his colleagues have built at Metric Theory. We are glad to welcome them to S4Capital and look forward to continuing to build the new age/new era model and disrupt the status quo.”
Just a few weeks ago he said WPP had grown too big and needed breaking up. When will he say the same thing about S4 Capital? When he’s trousered some more millions.