Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital buys Decoded and Metric Theory to boost digital advertising

Jan 4, 2021 | Ad tech, Online advertising

Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital buys Decoded and Metric Theory to boost digital advertising
Former WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4Capital has bought two new businesses as the advertising mogul looks to continue growing his new agency.

S4 Capital – founded by Sir Martin in the wake of his departure from WPP Group has announced that it is buying Decoded Advertising, a creative agency, and Metric Theory, a data-driven digital agency.

The agencies 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.”

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 purchases will be the latest in a blizzard unveiled by S4 since its launch less than three years ago, and will take the group’s total workforce to more than 3,500 people.

Decoded, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, serves clients including T-Mobile, Visa and SC Johnson.

Metric Theory, which counts GoFundMe among its clients, was founded in 2012 and has offices in locations including San Francisco and Orange County.
The pair of acquisitions will be funded half in cash and half in S4 shares, following S4’s conventional model.

S4, which declined to comment on its latest two acquisitions, remains a smaller but fast-growing rival to WPP – the business Sir Martin built over 35 years into the world’s biggest marketing services holding company – and rivals such as Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe.

Previous takeover by S4 include Circus, an agency which counts Facebook, Google and Spotify as clients, Firewood, the largest marketing agency in Silicon Valley, and Orca Pacific.

S4’s shares have soared by almost 160% during the last year, giving it a market value of nearly £2.7bn.

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