Display & Programmatic Advertising

PALAZZO Advises Firewood Marketing on its Pending Sale to S4

digital advertising
Sorrell’s S4 Capital to buy Silicon Valley’s largest independent agency, Firewood, for $150 million in its latest deal to form a purely digital global advertising firm.

PALAZZO is pleased to announce it has served as exclusive financial advisor to Firewood Marketing, an international digital marketing agency, on its pending sale to S4 Capital plc (SFOR.L), the new age/new era digital advertising and marketing services company founded by Sir Martin Sorrell, in a transaction valued at $150 million.

As a result of the transaction, Firewood will merge and join forces with MediaMonks, the digital content arm of the S4 Capital family. This allows Firewood to enhance its capabilities, accelerate growth and bring its agile, efficient, and transparent way of working to new global clients.

Firewood is the largest agency in Silicon Valley and, along with MediaMonks, has recently been ranked as one of the fastest growing agencies by Adweek. Firewood is a leading proponent of the “embedded” model of client partnership, a deeply collaborative way of working with clients to deliver on speed, quality and value.

Founded in 2010 by Juan and Lanya Zambrano, Firewood offers a broad range of digital capabilities including creative, strategy and planning, performance media and technology services. Headquartered in San Francisco, the agency employs over 300 people in 7 offices across the Americas and Europe, in San Francisco, Mountain View, Sandpoint, New York, Dublin, London and Mexico City.

For S4 Capital, this announcement is another important strategic step towards delivering a purely digital, first party data-driven, faster, better and cheaper content and programmatic offer for clients worldwide, with a unitary business model.

Sir Martin Sorrell, Executive Chairman of S4 Capital said: “This merger is a further step in creating a new era communications services leader. Firewood has an enviable client list comprising many of Silicon Valley’s finest; and we are delighted to welcome Juan, Lanya and their colleagues to the S4 Capital family. We will now have over 1,800 professionals in 23 countries, with over 500 in each of two nodes, one in Silicon Valley and one in Amsterdam.”

Lanya Zambrano, Founder and President of Firewood commented: “This merger is recognition of all our people. The richness of our differences creates our collective value. We embrace finding diverse talent; as a certified Women/Minority-owned Business Enterprise, 38% of our employees are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, 67% are women, and our leadership team is comprised of nearly 64% women. We look forward to developing further a new, disruptive model in the communications industry with MediaMonks and S4 Capital as further proof that diversity is an intrinsic part of our industry’s future.”

Juan Zambrano, Founder and CEO of Firewood commented: “We came from the client world and had a very different and non-agency mindset. From day one, we created an integrated and disruptive model built on transparency and collaboration that supported becoming extensions of our clients and something that other agencies weren’t doing. We are delighted to be teaming up with MediaMonks and joining the S4 Capital platform. We believe this is an exciting next step for our clients and colleagues and we look forward to continued growth and success.”

Philip Palazzo, President and Founder of PALAZZO, remarked on the transaction, “Firewood’s unique and distinctive client service model underpins the explosive growth it has experienced in the market. The merger with MediaMonks will accelerate S4’s mission to provide a highly differentiated service offering encompassing strategic consulting, premium creative and content production, performance media and technology services.”

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