BreakingviewsCapital Calls: Martin Sorrell can shrug off WPP pay spat

Reuters
2 minute read

Sir Martin Sorrell attends a conference at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France, June 22, 2018.

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PAYING PEANUTS. Martin Sorrell doesn’t have to worry much about the money his former employer refuses to pay him. S4 Capital (SFOR.L), which the 76-year-old founded after he was ousted by WPP, on Tuesday raised its target for full-year organic revenue growth this year to 30% from 25% after winning clients including BMW (BMWG.DE) and Mondelez (MDLZ.O).

S4 is benefiting from the switch to digital advertising, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. Including a 2.5% jump on Tuesday morning, its shares are up 14% this year, lifting the value of Sorrell’s 10% holding by 38 million pounds. WPP (WPP.L) is withholding shares worth at least 200,000 pounds due to its former chief executive because it accuses him of leaking client information. Yet every time WPP fights with its former boss the 12 billion pound company invites comparisons with the 3 billion pound upstart. Withholding Sorrell’s pay looks like a false economy. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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