Sir Martin Is Building His New Empire
Yesterday morning S4 Capital (the shell company for Martin Sorrell’s new media conglomerate), announced it was acquiring the programmatic specialty shop MightyHive for $150M. This is the second major pickup by S4, who also purchased MeidaMonks for $350M in July.
With the MightyHive acquisition announced, we can really start to visualize Sorrell’s strategy to create a vertically integrated digital marketing services company. According to Sir Martin, “S4 is now three-fourths to seven-eighths complete, with focus on three areas of business: digital content, first-party data and digital media planning and buying . . . MediaMonks is the first pillar around digital content, MightyHive is the second pillar around digital media planning and buying for programmatic. Both companies use first-party data, and obviously, we want to develop that further.” Sounds like the last piece of S4’s puzzle might be to purchase a smaller digital publisher or data aggregator.
What’s fascinating about S4’s M&A plan is that Sorrell is basically running a digital version of the same play he used when founding WPP in the 1980s. Goes to show you that times may change but winning business strategies never die.