Pastures new: Sir Martin Sorrell dramatically quit WPP following a board investigation into his conduct


Former WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell poised to wrap up second takeover at his new venture

William Turvill, Financial Mail On Sunday

Sir Martin Sorrell, the former boss of advertising giant WPP, is poised to wrap up a second takeover at his new venture this week.

Sorrell, 73, who dramatically quit WPP following a board investigation into his conduct, is now running S4 Capital, a vehicle he set up to acquire marketing and advertising businesses.

S4 is likely to confirm a takeover of US programmatic ad firm MightyHive in the coming days, The Mail on Sunday understands. The firm has been valued at up to $200 million (£157 million).

Pastures new: Sir Martin Sorrell dramatically quit WPP following a board investigation into his conduct

Pastures new: Sir Martin Sorrell dramatically quit WPP following a board investigation into his conduct

Sorrell’s new outfit controversially beat WPP in a bidding war for Dutch digital agency MediaMonks, paying €300 million (£266 million) to complete its first deal. WPP later threatened to withhold future share payments that are due to be paid to Sorrell over the next five years.

Sorrell quit WPP, a firm he built up from scratch over 33 years, in April after the conclusion of an investigation into his conduct. 

The Wall Street Journal later reported that the probe centred on a claim that Sorrell had paid for a prostitute on company expenses – an allegation that he strenuously denies.

The former Saatchi & Saatchi executive bought Wire and Plastic Products – later renamed WPP – in 1985 when it was a small basket maker. 

Acquisitions built it into a multi-billion pound conglomerate. In recent months, Sorrell has been piling pressure on WPP, which named Mark Read as his successor in September, describing it as a ‘car crash in slow motion’.

Read is expected to set out a new strategy for WPP in the coming weeks after it lost a series of high-profile contracts.

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