Sorrell gets financial backing: 'He's got something lined up,' says investor

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Martin Sorrell at Stanford University in 2017.
Martin Sorrell at Stanford University in 2017. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Martin Sorrell has won financial backing from Crispin Odey, an influential London investor, for his new venture after leaving the world's largest advertising company.

"People have made a lot of money with Martin and he doesn't look like a man who wants to rest," Odey, founder of hedge fund firm Odey Asset Management, said in a phone interview. "With Martin, you have someone who knows the whole market very well."

The support from one of Britain's best known fund managers is a vote of confidence in Sorrell, who was ousted as chief executive officer from WPP in April after an investigation into alleged personal misconduct. Several news outlets have reported that WPP was probing allegations that he used company money to pay for a visit to a brothel, which Sorrell has denied.

Sorrell, 73, wants to use acquisitions to build a marketing services business through his company S4 Capital. He has a list of targets and a first deal could be announced in the coming weeks, according to three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details are confidential.

Odey said he's betting on Sorrell to make an acquisition soon.

"He's got something lined up," Odey said. "The cleverest thing Martin always did was he kept on buying businesses every year. He kept on finding out what the new technology guys are doing."

-- Bloomberg News

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