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S4 Capital acquires MightyHive programmatic platform for $150 million

As first reported on Mumbrella earlier today, programmatic platform MightyHive has been acquired by Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital.

An official statement from the company said: “S4 Capital, the new age/new era digital advertising and marketing services company, announces an important second strategic step, that it has reached agreement to merge with MightyHive, Inc., a market-leading programmatic solutions provider for future thinking marketers and agencies, for an enterprise value of US$150 million.”

MightyHive will be a wholly owned subsidiary of S4 Capital. Its co-founders CEO Pete Kim and COO Christopher S. Martin will join the S4 Capital board of directors while also remaining in their roles running the day-to-day operations at MightyHive, according to a blog published on the company’s site.

MightyHive, founded in 2012, claims to be one of the largest and fastest-growing programmatic buyers in the world, with offices in San Francisco, New York, Sydney, London, Stockholm and Singapore. With enterprise marketing organisations, mid-sized marketers and agencies among its clientele, MightyHive, has earned its spurs working with firms like Bayer and Sprint, helping them build in-house capabilities in areas like digital media planning and buying.

The other contender reported to be in the fray for MightyHive was Chinese media company BlueFocus Communication Group.

Alluding to an earlier public comment where he likened S4 Capital to a peanut, Sir Martin Sorrell said: “The merger with MightyHive marks an important second strategic step for S4 Capital. The peanut has now morphed into a coconut, and is growing and ripening.”

He added: “MediaMonks’ award-winning digital creative production and MightyHive’s market-leading programmatic offering will give S4 Capital’s clients end-to-end, fully integrated and seamless capabilities in purely digital marketing.

“Following both the MightyHive merger and the recent opening of the MediaMonks office in San Francisco, S4 Capital’s focus on the West Coast of the United States and the digital natives at companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, not forgetting the software giants Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle, will intensify.

S4 Capital intends to provide global, multi-national, regional, local clients and influencer-driven millennial brands with new age/new era digital marketing services concentrated in three key areas initially — the development of a global digital content platform; first-party data fuelling both digital media planning and creative ideas; and, finally, digital media buying.

“Clients of all kinds want these services delivered faster, better and cheaper, by more agile and responsive organisations, either in-house, co-located with them or alone. To this end, S4 Capital will be organised primarily on a unitary basis, with key people continuing to be incentivised through significant, equity ownership in the enterprise as a whole. S4 Capital believes that this strategy and structure will deliver significant long-term value for share owners, particularly through organic growth, supported by strategically-focussed acquisitions.”

MightyHive is the second acquisition for S4 Capital after the €300m purchase of Dutch production house MediaMonks.

In July 2017, MightyHive CEO Peter Kim spoke at Mumbrella360 about the possibilities of programmatic advertising and how the shift to automated ad trading is driving the merger of media buying and creative agency functions.

Last month, S4 Capital appointed WPP’s Michel de Rijk as APAC CEO. Speaking to Mumbrella after announcing his move, de Rijk told Mumbrella Asia the company was looking “to acquire companies in the content, digital media planning and buying and first party data space. This can be global or regional operating businesses.”

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