Spectrum Corporate Finance has advised the shareholders of ConversionWorks, an award-winning digital analytics, biddable media and data science consultancy, on the merger with MightyHive, a leading media consultancy specialising in programmatic solutions and a subsidiary of S4 Capital plc, a digital advertising and marketing services business established by Sir Martin Sorrell.
Based in Windsor and London, ConversionWorks partners with companies such as Boots, Diageo, Schuh, giffgaff and Wiggle to help them gather first-party data, curate audiences, predict behaviours and target them with focused creative marketing with the goal of driving increased conversions.
Spectrum acted as lead advisers to the shareholders, completing a marketing and sales process which attracted the attention of a number of prospective acquirers both UK and international. MightyHive and S4 Capital stood out. The merger will strengthen MightyHive’s analytics capabilities and expand its EMEA footprint.
With headquarters in San Francisco and offices in 15 countries around the world, MightyHive partners with global brands and agencies seeking transformative marketing results. The acquisition aligns with MightyHive and S4 Capital’s strategy to assist in the sourcing, analysis and delivery of first-party data to fuel creative content and digital media planning.
ConversionWorks will seamlessly integrate with MightyHive’s EMEA team, with founder and CEO Russell Sutton remaining at the helm of the business.
Legal advice was provided to the shareholders of ConversionWorks by Ian Wood-Smith and Rachael Maunder of Reading-based Field Seymour Parkes.
Russell Sutton, Founder and CEO of ConversionWorks said: “When data and technology are brought together in skilled hands, the impact for brands and their customers is game-changing. This was the conviction on which ConversionWorks was founded. I am delighted to join forces with a partner that believes in the same vision – Holy Trinity of first-party data, programmatic expertise and creative excellence!
“Spectrum ensured we had a skilled, experienced team to guide us through every stage of the process. It’s the calibre of the team that shone through – at each decision point we were supported by advice and counsel steeped in years of experience. With this backing we had the confidence to make informed decisions and build the necessary momentum. When you’re in the pressure cooker of the M&A process having that talent and experience on your side is invaluable.”
Bilal Hasan, associate director at Spectrum Corporate Finance, said: “We are delighted to have supported Russell and Chris on this transaction. They have built a leading martech business that will seamlessly integrate into the S4 family. ConversionWorks attracted global interest but S4 stood out from the start. Russell and the team now join MightyHive and we are confident will be an integral part of the future success of the wider business.”
Simon Davies, managing director at Spectrum Corporate Finance, said: “This represents our second recent deal in the data analytics and information analytics space, following the sale of BrandView to Ascential plc. Data is key to all industries, and across all tiers of business, and we continue to see a lot of activity in this space. Conversion Works is a good example of how an entrepreneurial young business can achieve great value from niche focus.”
Sir Martin Sorrell, S4 Capital’s founder and executive chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Russell and his colleagues to S4 Capital. Data and analytics are at the heart of our new age/new era model and we look forward to working with our clients in Europe as they invest in deeper first party data-driven content and programmatic capabilities.”
Chris Love, co-founder and shareholder of ConversionWorks said: “Spectrum ran a very effective process and through its ‘black book’ secured interest from a number of interested parties, including large international organisations. You hear stories of acquisitions taking close to a year but Spectrum were able to guide us through the entire process within three months. The due diligence aspect can be very disruptive but with Spectrum managing the process we were able to focus on running the business.
“MightyHive is a perfect fit and both Russ and I are super excited about the future. Both Simon and Bilal were great to work with and offered considerable value to the deal. If I ever sell another company, I’d want them on my team.”