WPP and Sir Martin Sorrell’s company S4 Capital are tipped to be vying for digital production company MediaMonks, which currently has offices in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, Europe and US, multiple media sites reported. The move also marks S4 Capital’s first acquisition since his departure from WPP. According to sources from the Financial Times, deal discussions valued the deal at around €200 million or more.
Meanwhile, an Adweek report added that M&A advisor Clarity Corporate Partners is also tipped to be handling the acquisition process. Clarity is an M&A advisor for the global media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sectors, headquartered in London. In a statement to the publication, a MediaMonks spokesperson said the agency was “flattered” by the interest but does not comment on speculation. Meanwhile, an S4 spokesperson said there was nothing definitive at the moment, but declined to deny rumours outright. WPP declined to comment.
Marketing has reached out to MediaMonks, Clarity, S4 Capital and WPP for comment.
The move comes one month after Sorrell, WPP’s former CEO, said that S4 Capital (then Derriston Capital) “will not compete directly” with WPP, following his comeback into the industry. According to an exclusive interview with Reuters, WPP’s spokesperson said that Sorrell has spoken to two of its shareholders including fund manager at Jupiter Asset Management Alastair Gunn, who was assured by Sorrell that his new venture “will not undermine” the advertising network. Sorrell added at the time that he “would not seek to hurt” the company he started 33 years back.
Previously, Sorrell described his departure as being “extracted” from the network and that he is “not going into voluntary or involuntary retirement”. He also added that he now has a “better perspective” on where the strengths and weaknesses of traditional advertising companies lie, now that he has left WPP. The advertising firm did not impose a non-compete clause when he left.
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