Sorrell: “We’ve Grown From Being A Peanut To A Coconut With MediaMonks”

Sorrell: “We’ve Grown From Being A Peanut To A Coconut With MediaMonks”

The ink’s barely dry on Sir Martin Sorrell’s purchase of Dutch digital-production agency MediaMonks, but already the cold war between WPP and its former CEO has taken a decidedly frosty turn.

As reported on B&T yesterday, Sorell’s private equity firm S4 Capital outbid both WPP and Accenture to snare MediaMonks for a reported $A472 million.

However, WPP has branded the sale as “unlawful” due to the fact that Sorrell had been “heavily engaged” in WPP’s bid when he was running the company up until April. It also believes that Sorrell agreed to a non-compete when he left which this contravenes.

WPP has said it will now withhold $36 million in dividends owed to Sorrell relating to share bonuses. Sorrell remains a significant shareholder in WPP, with much of his own wealth tied up in the stock of the company

However, Sorrell has labelled claims that S4 was competing head-to-head against WPP as “ridiculous”.

“We’ve probably grown from being a peanut to a coconut with (the purchase of) MediaMonks,” Sorrell told Press Association yesterday.

“We are a bigger animal now, but still to say a $US20 billion company can be frightened of a peanut or a coconut seems to be ridiculous.”

However, WPP countered back in a statement via its London office: “WPP’s lawyers wrote to Sir Martin’s lawyers last week pointing out the breach of his confidentiality undertakings in his approach to MediaMonks after his resignation from WPP.

“Despite subsequent protestations from Sir Martin’s lawyers, we are well aware of the facts and he has jeopardised his LTIP (a long-term incentive plan) entitlement.”

Despite the threat of pending legal action hanging over it, it has not deterred MediaMonks’ owners from taking Sorrell’s cash.

It’s understood S4 and MediaMonks will now merge to become a “unitary” company and will “run on a single P&L basis, as clients are increasingly demanding”.

Yesterday, MediaMonks issued a statement on the sale that read: “This represents a significant step in building a new age, new era, digital agency platform for clients. MediaMonks’ roots are totally in new media, and data, content and technology. Our next moves will be to build this platform further and to add meaningful data analytics and digital media buying.

“The objective behind the merger is to provide clients with digital services, which are agile, efficient, and of premium creative quality. The merger represents the first move by S4 Capital to create a new era, new media solution embracing data, content and technology, which meets client needs in an always-on environment.”




Please login with linkedin to comment

MediaMonks sir martin sorrell WPP

Latest News

Cashrewards: A Decade Strong!
  • Partner Content

Cashrewards: A Decade Strong!

This month, Cashrewards celebrates its 10th birthday. In this op-ed, Anthony Seymour-Walsh, CEO, reflects on the journey of this inspiring Aussie business, which has evolved from humble beginnings to become Australia’s leading cashback ecosystem and a key strategic partner for clients.   Lead image: Anthony Seymour-Walsh – CEO, Cashrewards.   I am excited about the next chapter as […]

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Gold Artifacts Give Clues To Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums
  • Campaigns

Gold Artifacts Give Clues To Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums

Apple Music has unveiled its complete 100 Best Albums list, celebrating the greatest records ever made. Crafted by Apple Music’s team of experts and artists the lists includes Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, and serves as a love letter to the records that have shaped, inspired, and fundamentally changed music. […]

Chook & HOYTS Celebrate Webby Honouree Recognition At The Australian Web Awards
  • Advertising

Chook & HOYTS Celebrate Webby Honouree Recognition At The Australian Web Awards

Chook, a strategy, design and development agency that specialises in bespoke digital experiences, has received international acclaim at the 28th Annual Webby Awards and clinched the Best in Show in the SEO effectiveness category at the Australian Web Awards for the HOYTS’ Australia and New Zealand websites. Lead image: Adam Dipper and James Hartcher, Chook […]

Salesforce’s Bobby Jania: AI Has Flipped Marketing Campaigns On Their Head
  • Technology

Salesforce’s Bobby Jania: AI Has Flipped Marketing Campaigns On Their Head

Bobby Jania, CMO of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud has said that AI has flipped the traditional marketing campaign on its head, with customers — instead of brands — being in the driving seat. Speaking to a panel of journalists at Salesforce’s Connections event in Chicago, Jania told B&T that the attention economy and AI will force […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Network 10 Axes Gladiators
  • Media

Network 10 Axes Gladiators

the network has dropped its third tentpole show in recent months after cancelling The Bachelor and The Masked Singer. First airing in January this year and hosted by Beau Ryan and Liz Ellis, the reboot features contenders from all walks of life in the ultimate test of speed, strength, stamina, agility and power. It is […]