Ad guru Sir Martin Sorrell today laid out ambitious plans to expand new venture S4 Capital after it starts trading shares later this month, in a move which could step on the toes of his former employer WPP.
The founder of the advertising goliath is using a shell company, Derriston Capital, to launch his new business back onto the market. Shares in Derriston were suspended in May, but after a board meeting on 27 September rubber stamps its reverse takeover of S4 Capital and merger with Dutch digital agency MediaMonks, it will resume trading.
Sorrell said S4 had ambitions to provide: "global, multi-national, regional, local clients and influencer-driven millennial brands with new age digital marketing services" as he gave more details on the new areas it plans to move into.
"S4 Capital will be organised primarily on a unitary basis, with key people continuing to be incentivised through significant, equity ownership in the enterprise as a whole," he said. "S4 Capital believes that this strategy and structure will deliver significant long-term value for share owners, particularly through organic growth, supported by strategically-focused acquisitions
"We are now looking to expand the digital content platform into new high potential growth territories, such as Germany, India and Japan and broaden and deepen the platform itself," he continued. "We are also exploring new areas of operation in line with our strategic objectives, in data analytics and digital media planning and buying."
WPP agencies including Kantar and GroupM already operate in data analytics and media planning, so Sorrell's statement could represent another step into the company's territory, despite previous assertions his new business would not compete with the company.
The news comes a day after a prospectus was published giving investors more detail on the recent acquisition of MediaMonks, which Sorrell pipped WPP to buying in July.
This caused Sorrell to come to blows with WPP, which claimed he had breached confidentiality clauses in the contract he signed when he exited the company.
When shares in Sorrell's new venture go live later this month, the stock could see huge growth as investors put their support behind the ad man, who was one of the longest serving chief execs on the FTSE 100 before he resigned in April.