Commentary

S4 Capital Expands War Chest, Readies Brand Makeover

S4 Capital got off to a strong start in 2021 with 30%-plus growth in the first quarter and hopes to keep the momentum going on several fronts including continuing to be aggressive on the M&A front. To that end it is preparing a $500 million bond offering to expand its M&A war chest. 

Company chief Martin Sorrell told analysts today that he believes the firm is “too skewed” on the content side of the business, which is led by MediaMonks and accounts for about 70% of the company’s total business. Data and digital media account for the remaining 30% and Sorrell said he’d like to see the skew more like 60%-40%. Companies in the U.S. and Asia are the prime targets. 

But scale isn’t the top priority and S4 will spread the $500 million over a number of deals. The priorities are augmenting existing capabilities as well as bringing in new talent and clients to the firm. 

Meanwhile, look for the company to shortly introduce a major brand makeover that will bring the various S4 units under a single umbrella that Sorrell described as a “flexible framework” that will allow for “adjustments and refinements.” But he added, “we’re pretty much there.”

 

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