Sunday 23 September 2018

Sorrell triumphs over his former firm to snap up advertising firm Media Monks

Martin Sorrell, former chief executive officer of WPP
Martin Sorrell, former chief executive officer of WPP

Helen Cahill

Sir Martin Sorrell has triumphed over his former firm, WPP, to snap up Netherlands-based advertising firm Media Monks.

Sir Martin, who left WPP in April following allegations of misconduct, has acquired Media Monks through his new venture, S4 Capital.

He pressed ahead with the deal despite receiving a legal threat from WPP alleging that he had broken a confidentiality agreement with the firm.

WPP threatened to deny him £20m in share awards if he pursued the Media Monks acquisition.

"The objective behind the merger is to provide clients with digital services, which are agile, efficient, and of premium creative quality," S4 Capital said in a statement.

WPP carried out an inquiry into allegations that Sir Martin misused company funds, but details of the investigation were never disclosed.

It has been alleged that the probe looked into whether he used company cash to pay for a sex worker, claims that Sir Martin has "strenuously" denied.

The WPP board has come under fire for its handling of his departure, which included a bumper £20m payout. In addition, the tycoon is not hampered by a non-compete clause.

It means Sir Martin is able to go head to head with WPP for contracts, although he has played down direct competition with his former firm.

He has pumped £40m into S4 Capital, with support pledged from investors for up to £150m more.

Press Association

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business