Update on debt financing and tradingSource: RNS
19 July 2021
S4 CAPITAL PLC
("S4Capital" or the "Company")
Update on debt financing and trading
The Company has engaged Credit Suisse AG, London branch, HSBC Bank plc and Barclays Bank plc as lead arrangers for a seven year €375 million senior secured term loan and in addition a five year £100 million equivalent multicurrency senior secured revolving credit facility with Credit Suisse, HSBC, Barclays, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas to refinance its existing €25 million and US$28.9 million term loans and its €35 million and €43.5 million multicurrency revolving credit facilities and to provide approximately £200 million for general corporate purposes, including to fund the cash element of future mergers, which is typically one-half of overall consideration. The Company will maintain its policy of maximum net leverage not exceeding 1.5-2x EBITDA.
Since the Company's last trading update on the first four months of 2021 at its AGM on June 7, 2021, activity has continued at unprecedented levels in May and June, driven both by the post-pandemic rebound in global GDP and the acceleration in digital marketing transformation. Like-for-like revenue and gross profit (or net revenue) growth both continued at levels beyond expectations. The pattern of first-half profitability and margins remains very similar to the first halves of 2019 and 2020, weighted to the second half. The Company is in the early stages of planning to expand its activities into a third practice area around technology services and to continue to broaden and deepen its content and data & digital media practices in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
S4Capital plc Tel: +44 (0)20 3793 0003
Sir Martin Sorrell (Executive Chairman)
Powerscourt Tel: +44 (0)7970 246 725
(PR Adviser to S4Capital plc)
S4Capital plc (SFOR.L) is the tech-led, new age/new era digital advertising and marketing services company, established by Sir Martin Sorrell in May 2018.
Its strategy is to build a purely digital advertising and marketing services business for global, multinational, regional, local clients and millennial-driven influencer brands. This will be achieved initially by integrating leading businesses in two practice areas: Data & digital media and Content, along with an emphasis on "faster, better, cheaper" executions in an always-on consumer-led environment, with a unitary structure.
Digital is by far the fastest-growing segment of the advertising market. S4Capital estimates that in 2020 digital accounted for over 50% (for the first time) or $290 billion of total global advertising spend of $525 billion (excluding over $500 billion of trade promotion marketing, the primary target of the Amazon advertising platform), and projects that by 2022 this share will grow to approximately 60% and by 2024 to approximately 66%, accelerated by the impact of covid-19.
S4Capital combined with MediaMonks, the leading AdAge A-listed creative digital content production company led by Victor Knaap and Wesley ter Haar, in July 2018 and with MightyHive, the market-leading digital media solutions provider for future thinking marketers and agencies, led by Peter Kim and Christopher S. Martin, in December 2018.
In April 2019, MightyHive combined with ProgMedia to expand operations into Latin America and MediaMonks acquired film studio Caramel Pictures to expand content studio capabilities. In June 2019, MediaMonks announced a planned combination with Australia-based BizTech, a leading marketing transformation and customer experience company. In August 2019, MediaMonks combined with Amsterdam-based digital influencer marketing agency IMA. In October 2019, MediaMonks combined with Firewood Marketing, the largest digital marketing agency based in Silicon Valley, that was recently ranked, along with MediaMonks and Circus (see below), as one of the fastest growing agencies by Adweek, and MightyHive combined with award-winning UK-based digital analytics, biddable media and data science company ConversionWorks and South Korea-based data and analytics consultancy MightyHive Korea. In November 2019, MediaMonks announced its combination with Delhi-based content creation and production company WhiteBalance (completed in August 2020 - the delay due to necessary merger clearance procedures) and then with fully integrated digital agency Circus Marketing in January 2020 (completed in March 2020).
In May 2020, MightyHive announced a combination with Digodat, one of the leading Latin American data and analytics consultancies, and in June 2020, MightyHive announced its combination with Lens10, a leading Australian digital strategy and analytics consultancy. In July 2020, MightyHive announced a combination with Orca Pacific, a market leading full-service Amazon agency and boutique consultancy firm based in Seattle. In August 2020, MightyHive announced a combination with London-based Brightblue, an econometric and media optimisation consultancy. In September 2020, MediaMonks announced its combination with Dare.Win, expanding its geographical presence to France. In January 2021, MediaMonks announced its combination with integrated creative, technology and media agency Decoded Advertising, Shanghai based creative agency TOMORROW and Stuttgart based automotive specialist STAUD STUDIOS. MightyHive also announced its combination with integrated digital performance marketing agency Metric Theory. In February 2021, MightyHive acquired the assets of Datalicious Australia, a leading Google Marketing Platform, Google Cloud and Google Analytics partner in Asia Pacific. In March 2021, MediaMonks announced it had entered into a conditional agreement in relation to a combination of MediaMonks with Toronto-based design and experience agency, Jam3. In May 2021, MightyHive announced it had entered into a conditional agreement in relation to a combination of MightyHive with the leading digital performance agency in Brazil, Raccoon Group. The total investment to date into the Company's mergers is £1,053 million.
On 16 July 2020, S4Capital announced the successful placing of 36,766,642 new ordinary shares at a price of 315p raising approximately £116 million gross proceeds which has been used for further expansion and combination purposes.
For the last twelve months ended 30 April 2021, the Company generated Pro Forma1 revenue of £518 million (£437m in 2020), Pro Forma gross profit of £444 million (£379m in 2020) and Pro Forma Operational EBITDA2 of £98 million (£91m in 2020). Both Pro Forma revenue and Pro Forma gross profit grew at a compound annual growth rate of 25% from 2018.
Victor Knaap, Wesley ter Haar, Pete Kim, Christopher Martin, Peter Rademaker and Scott Spirit all joined the S4Capital Board as Directors. The S4Capital Board also includes Rupert Faure Walker, Paul Roy, Daniel Pinto, Sue Prevezer, Elizabeth Buchanan, Naoko Okumoto, Margaret Ma Connolly and Miles Young.
The Company now has around 5,500 people in 31 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific and a current market capitalisation of approximately £3.6 billion (c.$5 billion), and would rank around the FTSE 150. It achieved Unicorn status in a little over one year, unique in the advertising and marketing services industry. Sir Martin was CEO of WPP for 33 years, building it from a £1 million "shell" company in 1985 into the world's largest advertising and marketing services company with a market capitalisation of over £16 billion on the day he left. Today its market capitalisation is £11.4 billion. Prior to that Sir Martin was Group Financial Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Company Plc for nine years.
1 Pro Forma financial information is calculated on a non-statutory and non--GAAP basis, as if the Company and its subsidiaries [as at the end of the financial period/including all mergers announced to date] had existed in full for the whole of that period and is prepared under comparable GAAP with no consolidation eliminations.
2 Operational EBITDA is EBITDA adjusted for non--recurring items and recurring share--based payments. This is a non-GAAP measure management uses to assess the underlying business performance.