Commentary

S4's Next Deal Coming 'Very Soon,' Sorrell Says

S4 Capital chief Martin Sorrell says the firm is close to making its next M&A transaction, this time for an entity in the digital media planning and buying space.

The former WPP CEO told Bloomberg today the deal is expected to be done “very soon.”

It would follow the company’s first big transaction in July for content creator MediaMonks, a deal valued at about $350 million. S4 outbid WPP, Sorrell’s previous employer, for the company.

WPP was none too pleased, even suggesting Sorrell may have jeopardized future payments stemming from his severance package for violating its nondisclosure terms.

In addition to content and media planning and buying firms, Sorrell said S4 also has its sights on first-part data specialists, although he acknowledged such entities are “difficult to acquire” and pretty pricey when they are available.

Asked whether he had any regrets, Sorrell said he was “sad” about the way things ended for him at WPP. But he has moved on and is making “big strides at S4.”

Commenting on the midterm election results, Sorrell said there was some concern a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives could cause gridlock in Washington, if the focus settles on Trump investigations as opposed to “getting on with” governance of the country.

The trade dispute with China is also “very concerning,” Sorrell said -- especially if it escalates from a skirmish to an all-out trade war.

 

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