M&C Saatchi takeover contest turns bare knuckle

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 19 May 2022
Credit: Mark Leishman

Global advertising group M&C Saatchi just received its fourth offer, described as “derisory” by independent directors, in a hostile takeover by one of its directors.

Software entrepreneur Vin Murria, via her AdvT investment vehicle, has made an offer valuing the company at £254 million.

She says she already has more than 40% of the company in shares promised by various shareholders willing to sell. 

A full takeover would need 75% of  investors.

But the other directors have rejected the offer, saying it “significantly undervalues” the company and does not recognise its fundamental growth potential.

Gareth Davis, chair of M&C Saatchi: "This offer is derisory. I urge shareholders to reject this bid as it significantly undervalues the business and prospects of M&C Saatchi."

M&C Saatchi reported better than expected results for the year to December with net revenue growth of 10.6% and like-for-like growth of 15.1%.

The company posted record headline operating profit £31.1m, up from £12 million in 2020 and a statutory profit before tax of £21.6 million versus a £8.5 million loss.

The company says the strong trading performance and momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2022.

M&C Saatchi is now forecasting headline profit before tax in the region of £31.0m for the year to December.

CEO Moray MacLennan: "These record-breaking results reflect the outstanding levels of commitment and creativity that our teams deliver to clients, on a daily basis.

“The strength and depth of our client relationships and the breadth of our capabilities position us exceptionally well for the remainder of this year, and beyond."


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