New venture 'will not undermine' WPP, Sorrell says

Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), WPP's former CEO, said that Derriston Capital "will not compete directly" with WPP. This comes shortly after Sorrell announced that he will be making a comeback through Derriston Capital, which multiple media outlets term a "cash shell".

According to an exclusive interview with Reuters, WPP's spokesperson said that Sorrell has spoken to two of its shareholders including fund manager at Jupiter Asset Management Alastair Gunn, who was assured by Sorrell that his new venture "will not undermine" the advertising network. Sorrell added that he "would not seek to hurt" the company he started 33 years back.

Gunn said that Sorrell still has "a lot of money" invested in WPP, and as such, WPP's former CEO deemed it would be "very illogical" to attempt to undermine the company, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Sorrell will most likely be taking on the position of Derriston's executive chairman, following the acquisition of S4 Capital, a new entity established by him. S4 Capital raised £51 million in equity funds, with Sorrell contributing £40 million. Meanwhile, institutional investors provided £11 million to become shareholders in Derriston. After the deal concludes, Derriston Capital will become S4 Capital, media reports added.

Sorrell previously described his departure as being “extracted” from the network and that he is “not going into voluntary or involuntary retirement”. He added that he now has a “better perspective” on where the strengths and weaknesses of traditional advertising companies lie, now that he has left WPP. The advertising firm did not impose a non-compete clause when he left.

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