M&C Saatchi rejects increased bid from software millionaire

24 January 2022, 14:34

Vin Murria abseiling
Vin Murria, who abseiled down the ‘Cheesegrater’ building in London for charity in 2015, owns nearly 10% of M&C (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA). Picture: PA

The bid would hand more than half of shares in a new merged company to M&C’s current owners.

The independent directors of M&C Saatchi have rejected an increased bid from its largest shareholder and chair.

A company linked to businesswoman Vin Murria, a software entrepreneur, increased its offer by more than a fifth on Monday, but was rebuffed by the board, which was buoyed by stronger-than-expected results on Friday.

M&C also said on Friday that an investigation into its accounting, stemming from a 2019 scandal, had closed without the authorities taking enforcement action.

On Monday, Ms Murria’s company, AdvancedAdvT, tabled two different potential offers for the communications group.

One offer would pay for the merger purely in AdvancedAdvT’s shares. Investors in M&C would be handed 220p in AdvancedAdvT’s shares should the bid go ahead.

It would mean that M&C’s current shareholders that are not linked to Ms Murria will keep more than half the shares in the new merged entity.

Ms Murria owns about 12.5% of M&C’s shares already and AdvancedAdvT bought 9.8% of the shares earlier this month.

The other potential deal would give shareholders in M&C a small cash payment on top of their new shares in the merged company.

“The board of AdvancedAdvT believe this is a truly beneficial merger; it provides significant investment and additional expertise to build on the existing M&C platform, seeking to drive M&C’s future growth at significantly greater pace for the benefit of all stakeholders,” AdvancedAdvT said.

AdvancedAdvT added that M&C’s independent directors said on Sunday that they had rejected the deals. It is “considering its options.”

By Press Association