LONDON – Sir Martin Sorrell returns to the advertising industry just weeks after being released from the WPP advertising holding founded over 30 years ago.
UK stock market announcements show that Sorrell has launched a new investment vehicle called S4 Capital, which has raised £ 51 million for acquisitions. £ 40 million comes from Sorrell itself and the new vehicle has non-binding letters of support from other institutions that have pledged up to £ 150 million in additional capital, a statement said.
S4 Capital is now conducting a "reverse merger" of London-listed Derriston Capital to make itself public. Derriston is a small and little-known investment company that went public two years ago. Derriston will be renamed S4 Capital after the reverse merger, and Sorrell will become its executive chairman.
Sorrell said in a statement, "S4 Capital is a company focused on building a growth-oriented multinational communications services business, there are significant opportunities for developing technology, data and content, and I look forward to making this possible . "
Derriston said in a statement that Sorrell was already in" preparatory discussions regarding a selected number of potential acquisitions. "
The French business paper Les Echos reported earlier this month that Sorrell was allegedly interested in making an offer to Kantar, WPP's market research agency.
Liberals media analyst Iain Whittaker said earlier this month that Kantar could be worth £ 3.5 billion and said, "The obvious way is for Sir Martin to partner with a private equity partner for a bid and It is worth noting that KKR was involved in the buyout of the publicly traded shares of market research firm GfK. "
Sorrell will own 75% of Derriston / S4 Capital following the reverse merger. He has the right to block veto of executives and shareholder motions.
Paul Roy, a seasoned financier who served on the British Horseracing Association from 2007 to 201
Sorrell's dramatic comeback follows his departure from WPP in the middle of April after 33 years run the business. Sorrell resigned following an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior and asset abuse. Sorrell denied the allegations back then, but said the "current disruption" was "too much unnecessary pressure on the business."
Sorrell founded WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, in 1988 through a reverse acquisition of a packaging group known as wire and plastic products. Sorrell helped drive the company to a market value of £ 16 billion. The holding owns leading advertising agencies such as JWT and Ogilvy & Mather as well as PR and market research agencies.