Martin Sorrell makes his comeback with S4

Ex-WPP Chief Executive makes a comeback with Derriston deal

It’s barely been 2 months since Martin Sorrell’s exit from WPP. The ex-Chief Executive was under investigation after an allegation of personal misconduct. Now, 73-year old has staged his comeback by taking charge of a shell company, Derriston Capital.

Martin has stated that he would invest £40 million of his own money into Derriston Capital while institutional investors have pledged £150 million to buy marketing companies.

The company will be renamed S4 Capital, a new entity established by Sir Martin for the purpose of his return to the public market. It is understood to refer to four generations of Sir Martin’s family.

S4 Capital’s strategy is to “build a multi-national communication services business, initially by acquisitions”.

Martin is to take 75% control of Derriston Capital, taking the post of executive chairman, with the aim of building a next-generation WPP for the digital age.

“S4 Capital is a company that aims to build a multi-national communication services business focused on growth,” the 73-year-old said.

“There are significant opportunities for development in technology, data and content. I look forward to making this happen,” added Martin.

The action of taking charge of a listed shell company shows that Martin is repeating the tactic he used in the 1980s when he took a stake in Wire and Plastics Products, a maker of shopping baskets, and used it as a vehicle to buy some of the world’s most famous advertising agencies such as JWT and Ogilvy & Mather.

Alongside Sorrell, Sky Bet chairman Paul Roy and former HSBC Investment Bank managing director Rupert Faure Walker have joined the business as non-executive directors.

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