M&C Saatchi rebuffs takeover approach from Vin Murria


M&C Saatchi rebuffs takeover approach from deputy chairman and tech tycoon Vin Murria


M&C Saatchi has rebuffed a takeover approach from deputy chairman and tech tycoon Vin Murria. 

The advertising agency’s independent directors – excluding 59- year-old Murria – said they could not see how the deal would benefit the company. They added that winning a series of big-name clients such as Uber, Google, TikTok and Tinder showed its existing strategy was already working. 

Murria’s investment vehicle Advanced Advt proposed launching an all-share reverse takeover that would see it absorb M&C Saatchi. M&C Saatchi investors would receive 1.86 shares in the combined group. 

On reflection: The advertising agency’s independent directors said they could not see how the deal would benefit the company

Murria’s company said its management expertise and extra funding, when combined with M&C Saatchi’s high-profile brand, would allow the new group to expand by buying new companies. But M&C Saatchi said the independent directors did not believe the approach articulated ‘an alternative strategy’ beyond changing who owned the group. 

Shares fell 12.4 per cent, or 26p, at 184p, giving it a value of £225m. 

Advanced Advt has not yet made a formal offer and has until early February to make one. 

Murria is M&C Saatchi’s biggest shareholder, with a 12.5 per cent stake, and earlier this week Advanced Advt declared a 9.8 per cent holding. 

Brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi founded M&C Saatchi in 1995 after an American activist investor ousted them from their firm, Saatchi & Saatchi, which was behind Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ campaign. Clients have included Burberry, Apple and chocolatier Lindt. 

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