Sir Martin Sorrell’s new venture eyeing second acquisition

Executive pay

The new venture run by former WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has confirmed it is lining up its second acquisition amid reports that the group has a US advertising company in its sights.

S4 Capital said it is in talks “with the owners of several digital marketing services businesses” over a potential acquisition.

The group said that, if a deal goes ahead, it would be in line with its aims to create a “new era, new media solution embracing data, content and technology in an always-on environment for global, multinational, regional and local clients and for millennial-driven digital brands”.

It comes in response to media reports that Sir Martin’s new outfit is close to finalising a deal with MightyHive, a San Francisco-based firm which specialises in programmatic marketing.

It is thought MightyHive could be valued at up to 200 million US dollars (£154 million).

A deal would mark the second by Sir Martin since he left WPP in April following allegations of misconduct and that he misused company funds.

His new venture has already triumphed against WPP in a high-profile battle to buy Dutch firm MediaMonks.

He then floated S4 capital in September, raising £51 million including a £40 million investment by Sir Martin, and pledged more deals as part of his aim to rebuild a digital-only marketing empire.

But he has previously said S4 Capital will not compete head-to-head with WPP and claimed his new company is a “peanut” in comparison.

WPP carried out an inquiry into allegations that Sir Martin misused company funds, but details of the investigation were never disclosed.

It has been claimed that the probe looked into whether he used company cash to pay for a sex worker, allegations that Sir Martin has “strenuously” denied.