M&C Saatchi gets new buyout offer from top shareholder

(Reuters) -M&C Saatchi on Tuesday received a fresh takeover offer from the acquisition vehicle of its top shareholder Vin Murria, valuing the British advertising group at 253.6 million pounds ($314 million).

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the reception of the M&C Saatchi office in central London, Britain, January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Murria’s AdvancedAdvT said M&C investors can choose between receiving 2.530 new AdvancedAdvT shares for each share held or a combination of cash and shares.

Based on AdvanceAdvT’s last closing share price, both options value M&C Saatchi at 207.5 pence per share, representing a 27% premium to M&C’s Monday closing price.

Shares in M&C were 6.7% higher at 174 pence by 0920 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday. They had earlier jumped as much as 10.2%.

Representatives for M&C did not respond to a request for comment.

AdvanceAdvT’s previous all-stock approach, made in February and rejected by M&C, was worth 2.347 AdvancedAdvT shares for each M&C share.

AdvancedAdvT, led by software entrepreneur Murria and backed by private equity group Marwyn, wants to combine its digital capabilities with the brand recognition of M&C – known for its historical advertising links to Britain’s ruling Conservative Party – and invest heavily in M&C to help it compete better.

“ADV has access to an existing pipeline of selective (mergers & acquisitions) opportunities comprising businesses that enhance M&C Saatchi’s data and analytics capability, as well as complementing the existing offering,” it said in a statement.

Murria and AdvanceAdvT already own 22.3% of M&C. Shareholders owning a further 20.2% of M&C shares have also indicated their support for AdvanceAdvT’s offer, it said.

AdvanceAdvT proposes to add industry veterans Christopher Sweetland and Tamara Ingram to the board of the combined company if the deal is completed.

Founded in 1995 by ad mogul brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi, M&C has been recovering from a 2019 accounting scandal and has said AdvancedAdvT’s last offer did not reflect its potential for growth.

($1 = 0.8078 pounds)

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