David Jones’ Brandtech Group has rather had its thunder stolen by Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital (the two once sparred over the soubriquet ‘better, faster, cheaper.’)
S4C, quoted on the London Stock Exchange, once hit a dizzying valuation of £4bn before a succession of disasters slashed the price. Brandtech, on the other hand, remains privately owned by its investors and, while it reports some numbers (pretty good to date) is not subject to the same scrutiny.
Jones’ creation, in all likelihood, has nudged ahead this year and now he’s planning what would be a very large deal, opening “exclusive negotiations with Fimalac and Jellyfish, to potentially acquire global digital marketing company, Jellyfish.” Fimlach is Jellyfish’s French main backer.
Jellyfish, based in the UK, was launched in 2005 and now has 40 global offices with 2,250 staff, including 680 in the UK. Founder and CEO is Rob Pierre (above.) This is pretty substantial by today’s agency standards. A comparison might be Ajaz Ahmed’s AKQA which sold to WPP for $540m in 2012.
Exclusive talks are one thing but that doesn’t mean that other interested buyers won’t be circling. Brandtech has more than 5,000 employees (S4 Capital has about 9,000) and revenue of more than $500m.