LONDON (Reuters) - Martin Sorrell, who stepped down just six weeks ago as chief executive of WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, is attempting a comeback through a new marketing company, Sky News reported on Tuesday.
Sorrell will announce he is to become chairman of a little-known financial holding company, Derriston Capital, and use it to build a “next generation marketing services group”, the broadcaster said.
Derriston, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2016, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Sky News, citing an unnamed source close to the transaction, said Derriston would acquire S4 Capital, an entity controlled by Sorrell, and that Sorrell would put 40 million pounds ($53 million) of his own money into the venture.
Institutional investors including Lombard Odier, Miton, RIT Capital Partners, Schroders and Toscafund would add a further 11 million pounds.
Sorrell, the driving force behind 33 years of dealmaking and relentless expansion at WPP, stepped down on April 14 after the board investigated an allegation of misconduct.
WPP discontinued the investigation after Sorrell quit. He denied the allegations but in a letter to WPP staff published when he departed, he said the “current disruption” was “putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business”.
Present in 112 countries, WPP serves clients including Ford, Unilever, P&G and a string of other major corporations around the world.
Reporting by David Milliken, editing by David Evans