Martin Sorrell, the former CEO of advertising giant WPP, which owns several global design consultancies, says he will be setting up a new ad group called S4 Capital.
WPP is the parent company of several UK and global-based design businesses, including Landor, Design Bridge, Coley Porter Bell and the newly formed Superunion, which saw Brand Union, Lambie-Nairn and The Partners merge into one consultancy in January.
Sorrell, who ran WPP for 33 years, stepped down from his role in April following an internal investigation at the company into claims of alleged misuse of money. Sorrell denied the claims but said it was in the “best interests of the business” to step down.
According to the BBC, Sorrell is now taking over a shell company – one which is listed on the London Stock Exchange but has no active business operations – called Derriston Capital, and will turn it into a new advertising group called S4 Capital.
Derriston Capital was originally set up as a company that would acquire healthcare businesses, particularly those dealing in medical products and technology.
While Sorrell says he is looking to build a “multi-national communication services business”, he has also suggested there will be a focus on “technology, data and content”.
S4 Capital has so far raised £51 million, with Sorrell contributing £40 million in funds and private investors the other £11 million.
The takeover deal still needs the approval of existing Derriston Capital shareholders.
It is not yet confirmed whether S4 Capital will acquire design and digital consultancies, as well as advertising agencies.