Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital has agreed to buy San Francisco-based programmatic ad firm MightyHive for an enterprise (market) value of $US150 million ($A204 million).
Sorrell, who set up S4 weeks after being forced out of WPP following an investigation into allegations of personal misconduct, has said his new venture is just a “peanut” in comparison to the global scale of WPP.
“The merger with MightyHive marks an important second strategic step for S4 Capital,” said Sorrell. “The peanut has now morphed into a coconut, and is growing and ripening.”
The 74-year-old had previously said that making a success of S4 would be “the best form of revenge” against WPP. In July he bought the Dutch digital production firm MediaMonks for $463 million.
And its clear tech, digital and data is where Sorrell wants to place S4 firmly in the centre of.
“MediaMonks’ award-winning digital creative production and MightyHive’s market-leading programmatic offering will give S4 Capital’s clients end-to-end, fully integrated and seamless capabilities in purely digital marketing,” Sorrell said.
“Following both the MightyHive merger and the recent opening of the MediaMonks office in San Francisco, S4 Capital’s focus on the West Coast of the United States and the digital natives at companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, not forgetting the software giants Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle, will intensify,” he said.
Following the move on MightyHive, S4 also announced the appointment of MediaMonks’ Victor Knaap, Wesley ter Haar and Peter Rademaker as directors of the company and the appointment of Peter Kim and Christopher Martin, the CEO and COO of MightyHive respectively.
“S4 Capital intends to provide global, multi-national, regional, local clients and influencer-driven millennial brands with new age/new era digital marketing services concentrated in three key areas initially – the development of a global digital content platform; first-party data fuelling both digital media planning and creative ideas; and, finally, digital media buying,” Sorrell said.
“Clients of all kinds want these services delivered faster, better and cheaper, by more agile and responsive organisations, either in- house, co-located with them or alone. To this end, S4 Capital will be organised primarily on a unitary basis, with key people continuing to be incentivised through significant, equity ownership in the enterprise as a whole. S4 Capital believes that this strategy and structure will deliver significant long- term value for share owners, particularly through organic growth, supported by strategically- focussed acquisitions,” he said.