Consultancy Next Fifteen agrees deal for M&C after it rejected separate offer

The advertising agency said no to Vin Murria’s £254 million bid earlier this week.

August Graham
Friday 20 May 2022 08:21
The combined companies will have around 6,000 employees (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The combined companies will have around 6,000 employees (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Consultancy business Next Fifteen Communications has swooped on M&C Saatchi in a £310 million deal, after the advertising agency rejected an offer from entrepreneur Vin Murria.

The companies’ boards said that they had agreed the takeover at 247.2p per M&C share.

The price will be paid by handing shares in NFC to M&C investors.

It is a major increase from Ms Murria’s sweetened bid earlier this week.

The computer scientist founded and built Advanced Computer Software into a company with 2,400 employees.

Earlier this week the board of M&C rejected Ms Murria’s £254 million bid for the firm, calling it “derisory” and accusing her of “undervaluing” the agency.

The NFC offer has now been accepted by the board, though it remains to see if shareholders will vote for it, and whether Ms Murria could make another bid.

“The M&C Saatchi independent directors are pleased to unanimously recommend this alternative, more attractive offer which we are confident is in the best interests of M&C Saatchi Shareholders and M&C Saatchi’s other key stakeholders,” said M&C Saatchi chairman Gareth Davis.

The M&C Saatchi board has accepted the deal, but so too has the company’s executive committee.

The 18-person committee met with NFC and unanimously supported the bid, the companies said.

The agency’s chief executive, Moray MacLennan, said: “This merger will be a powerful accelerator for M&C Saatchi.

“Through connecting with Next Fifteen capabilities and companies, our ability to deliver meaningful change for existing and new clients will be deepened and broadened, turbo charging our next phase of growth.”

NFC has around 3,600 staff in its group of communications, marketing and technology agencies.

“With the acquisition its staff would rise to around 6,000.

It counts some of the biggest companies in the world, including Google, Amazon and Facebook among its customers.

NFC has made several acquisitions over recent years.

Its chief executive Tim Dyson said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring together two highly complementary businesses creating a truly global and diversified group with exceptional capabilities, clients and talent.

“Bringing M&C Saatchi into the Next Fifteen group provides us with a step change in our scale and global reach, and an enhanced ability to offer digitally driven solutions to growth-minded organisations.

“M&C Saatchi is synonymous with creativity and strategy, whereas Next Fifteen has built a reputation around its technology and data-driven offering.”

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