- The advertising mogul was rounding up City investors last week
- The £100 million raised is less than the £150 million pledged in May by investors
- He also raised £50 million in debt funding to spend on companies ‘focused on technology, data and content’
Gamplan: Martin Sorrell with his wife Cristiana
Former WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has raised £100 million for his new marketing services venture, The Mail on Sunday understands.
The advertising mogul was rounding up City investors last week as he prepared for his dramatic stock market return. He did so amid allegations – which he denies – that he used WPP money to pay a prostitute and that he bullied staff.
Sources said Sorrell had raised £100 million from investors for S4 Capital, his new vehicle, as well as £50 million in debt funding to spend on companies ‘focused on technology, data and content’. The 73-year-old is understood to have a ‘wishlist’ of takeover targets. An announcement about the funding is expected this week.
The £100 million raised is less than the £150 million pledged in May by investors including Lord Rothschild’s Five Arrows company and Schroders. It raises questions about whether the investors were put off by the allegations, which emerged after they had committed £150 million to Sorrell’s new firm.
Last week, when asked at the Cannes Lions advertising festival whether the allegations might deter investors, Sorrell replied: ‘We’ll see in time.’
One investor told The Mail on Sunday they had asked about the allegations, explaining: ‘It’s the kind of thing you bring up, but in a polite way.’
Sorrell’s departure from WPP, which he built up over 33 years into a £16 billion business, was shrouded in mystery as WPP refused to publish the findings of an investigation into his conduct. S4 is set to list on the stock market through a reverse takeover by Derriston Capital.
Separately, WPP is said to have hired lawyers to look into the source of anonymous emails to current and former employees.