Business

M&C Saatchi agrees to take over £310m ahead of Next Fifteen

M&C Saatchi has agreed to a £310m takeover by Nextteen, days after the ad group rejected a lower “hostile” offer from its largest shareholder Vin Murria’s investment vehicle.

The move from Next Fifteen, a larger media and marketing company, follows months of controversy over the future of M&Cs following a takeover attempt by Murria, a serial tech entrepreneur who owns 12.5% stock.

M&C, a UK advertising agency founded by the Saatchi brothers and known for their ties to the Conservatives, this week turned down Murria’s sweet offer of £254m through AdvancedAdvT, also known as ADV.

Gareth Davis, president of M&C, described the Murria vice president’s offer as “ridiculous”.

Instead, the independent directors of the M&C on Friday unanimously backed a £310 million cash and stock loan from Next Fifteen, a listed media group with a market value around 1.2 billion pounds.

Tim Dyson, chief executive officer of Next Fifteen, said it would bring together “two highly complementary businesses”.

“Incorporating M&C Saatchi into the next Fifteen gives us a step-change in global scale and reach,” he said.

Davis expressed support for “this alternative, more attractive offer that we believe is in the best interest of M&C”.

He said the independent directors “considerate Next Fifteen’s offer much higher than the one announced by ADV earlier this week, and explicitly reject ADV’s response statement that they strongly disagree.” with M&C Saatchi’s bid undervalued”.

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