Monday 20 May 2019

WPP goes head-to-head with former chief Martin Sorrell for MediaMonks takeover

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

Ravender Sembhy

WPP is set to go up against its former chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, in a takeover tussle for control of Netherlands-based MediaMonks.

Sir Martin's new firm, S4 Capital, and WPP have emerged as two of the interested parties.

The bidding war could rise as high as €300m for MediaMonks, which specialises in digital advertising and production.

Advertising guru Sir Martin left WPP, the FTSE 100 company he founded more than 30 years ago, in April following allegations of personal misconduct, which he denies.

WPP carried out an inquiry into allegations that he misused company funds, but the 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 that Sir Martin is able to go head to head with WPP for contracts, although he has played down direct competition with his former firm.

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

Press Association

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