Tech queen Vin Murria refuses to quit race for ad giant M&C Saatchi


Tech queen Vin Murria refuses to quit race for M&C Saatchi after advertising giant urges shareholders to back rival’s £310m offer

Vin Murria has hit back at reports that she has accepted defeat in the battle for M&C Saatchi after a rival bid for the ad agency – amid mounting speculation the British tech queen could make another offer.

AdvancedAdvT, Murria’s vehicle, which alongside her personal stake owns just over 22 per cent of the advertising firm, noted that a £310million bid by Next Fifteen Communications announced last Friday ‘does not fairly reflect’ the ‘significant synergies’ available to M&C Saatchi shareholders.

The firm added that it and Murria would ‘continue to consider their options’ in response to the Next Fifteen offer.

Considering her options: Tech entrepreneur Vin Murria (pictured), who is also M&C Saatchi’s deputy chairman, tabled a hostile bid last Tuesday worth £266m

Shares in M&C Saatchi rose 1.4 per cent, or 3p, to 216p following the announcement, suggesting investors were hopeful Murria could emerge with a new counter-offer. 

The 60-year-old tech entrepreneur, who is also M&C Saatchi’s deputy chairman, tabled a hostile bid last Tuesday worth £266million. 

The proposal was snubbed by M&C Saatchi’s other directors, with chairman Gareth Davis saying Murria’s proposal was ‘derisory’ and ‘significantly undervalues’ the group.

And days later, the firm revealed it had agreed a deal with Next Fifteen which it deemed ‘superior’ to the AdvancedAdvT proposal and urged shareholders to back the bid. 

Murria responded late on Friday, saying the terms of AdvancedAdvT’s offer would not be increased. 

But yesterday’s announcement has sparked speculation that a proposal could be incoming in light of Next Fifteen’s swoop.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said Murria winning the takeover tussle was ‘unlikely at this stage’ and she would need to ‘come up with something special’ if she was intent on pursuing her takeover ambitions. 

Scholar added that the bidding war seemed ‘more personal’ to Murria than pure financial gain, but at the moment Next Fifteen were in ‘pole position to clinch the deal’.

If Murria decided to abandon her plans to take over M&C Saatchi, the Next Fifteen deal would hand her £67million for her stake.

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