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S4 Kickstarts ‘Post-Brexit Expansion’ with Two New Acquisitions

Tim Cross  04 January, 2021

Sir Martin Sorrell’s investment vehicle S4 Capital has kicked off 2021 by announcing two new acquisitions, US-based agencies Decoded Advertising and Metric Theory. Financial details for the deals have not been disclosed. S4 says the acquisitions are both part of a post-Brexit expansion, which the company is kickstarting now that much of the post-Brexit confusion around trade relationships has been cleared up.

The company said in a trading update that its business is “unaffected by Brexit”. But now that a trade deal between the UK and EU has been agreed, S4 says it can have more confidence in acquiring new businesses, and plans to expand not just in Europe, but also in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle-East. The company says more deals will be announced soon.

Decoded Advertising, founded in 2014 by Matt Rednor, will be merged with S4-owned programmatic specialist MightyHive. Decoded Advertising pitches itself as a fully integrated agency covering creative, media and technology. Its clients include T-Mobile, Visa, and WW International.

San Francisco-based performance marketing business Metric Theory meanwhile will be combined with MediaMonks, S4’s creative digital production unit. Metric Theory buys media across search, social and ecommerce properties, and its clients include Gofundme, Zenefits, and Very Great.

Martin Sorrell, executive chairman at S4 capital, said both acquisitions will expand the holding group’s capabilities in digital, strategic, creative, data and digital media.

“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,” said Sorrell. “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 and his colleagues have built at Metric Theory,” he added. “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.”

The deals follow on from a busy 2020 for the holding group. Despite the pandemic, S4 scooped up a number of new companies including Amazon media specialist Orca Pacific, Argentinian agency Digodat, and Mexican digital agency Circus Marketing.

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