S4 Capital has acquired Circus Marketing, an integrated digital agency that gives Sir Martin Sorrell’s venture a stronger presence in Latin America.
Sorrell is merging Circus with S4’s global content practice, which is built around MediaMonks, the first agency Sorrell bought after launching S4 within weeks of his departure as WPP chief executive in April 2018.
Circus is estimated to add $38m (£28.9m) in revenue and $20m in gross profit to S4’s balance sheet, as well as 350 staff based in eight locations, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the US (Los Angeles). Circus will also open an office in Spain.
The agency has its headquarters in Mexico City and was formed in 2005. It is a pure-play digital shop that creates content strategies and campaigns for brands such as Facebook, Google, Netflix, Spotify and Uber.
S4 is paying just over half in cash for Circus, with the remainder in S4 shares. S4 would not disclose the figure, but said its valuation multiples were "approximately one to two times revenue".
The move follows last year's acquisition of Brazil-based consulting company ProgMedia, which was merged with MightyHive, S4’s programmatic business.
Sorrell said: "Bruno Lambertini, Ignacio Liaudat and Luis Alonso and their colleagues at Circus share our vision of focusing on purely digital content, unencumbered by analogue baggage. Circus also embraces our data-driven holy trinity model and embodies faster, better, cheaper or speed, quality and value. They are buying into our unitary model, combining seamlessly with our content and programmatic practices."