Sir Martin Sorrell, who for more than 30 years headed the world’s largest advertising agency WPP, until he was forced to resign last month for suspected misconduct, will set up a new advertising firm.
Less than a month after Sorrell was forced to step down in April, he began talks with Derriston Capital to stage his comeback.
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Sorrell is to take 75% control of the financial holding company Derriston Capital, taking the post of executive chairman, with the aim to use it as a tool to build a “next-generation” advertising group, according to a statement. “He takes ideas from the same book,” one of them was quoted by Sky News. Derriston will change its name to S4 Capital, a reference to four generations of his family.
Sorrell is known as the fourth brother of Saatchi & Saatchi, a global advertising agency network, which was founded in London by brothers Maurice (now Lord Saatchi) and art collector Charles in 1970.
When Sorrell left WPP six weeks ago, he told his employees that the future of the company “is more important than life or death.” He was the longest-serving CEO of a company in the FTSE 100 index, and his salary package, which totaled £70 million in 2015, was among the highest in the history of British companies.
But Sorrell’s tenure ended after the group hired a law firm to investigate allegations of misuse of company funds and inappropriate personal behavior. Sorel, 73, denies all charges.
Sorrell is investing £40 million in his new venture, with £11 million being financed by other investors, including Lord Rothschild‘s RIT Capital Partners. The new company could receive an additional £150 million from investors, Derriston said.
Some investors have also signed “non-binding letters of support” to provide in principle about £150 million of further funding to fuel Sorrell’s buying spree plans.