Anthony Hilton: Quiet man Napier has worked magic at Aegis
It is astonishing to think that Thursday's agreed £3.2bn offer for Aegis from the Japanese firm Dentsu is the second largest takeover bid in advertising history – the more so because not so long ago the business was in grave danger of being torn apart by warring shareholders.
Getting the company into a shape where it could attract an offer of this size is no mean achievement, the more so because the man responsible, John Napier, the chairman, has done a similar job turning dogs into desirable businesses, not once, not twice but four times in the last 15 years: at cash and carry firm Booker which was sold to Iceland, at water company Kelda which was taken over by a private equity, at RSA which is still independent but an industry standard setter and this week at Aegis.
Britain does have executives who are quiet, effective, world class and whose egos do not demand £2m a year just to get out of bed in the morning.
John Napier is one of those.
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
British man arrested after children's throats slit in France
World news in pictures
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£550 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Fidessa Analyst / PM - Banking - London - Up to £...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Sourcing Manager - Banking - London - Up to £500p...
To be discussed at interview.: Queen Elizabeth's School: An experienced and ef...
£294.05 - £330.92 per day + 150 per day travel and accommodation: Orgtel: A le...