Monday 8 June 2020 9:15 pm

M&C Saatchi rebuffs board attempt by tech entrepreneur

A request to join the board of M&C Saatchi by tech entrepreneur Vin Murria was denied this week, after the businesswoman amassed a large stake in the ad agency.

Murria has built a stake of more than 13 per cent in M&C, following accounting problems at the firm which has led to an 80 per cent decline in its share price.

City sources told Sky News she had followed that purchase with a formal request for a board position as a non-executive director, but that this had been denied for “corporate governance reasons”.

Read more: Suitors line up bids for troubled ad agency M&C Saatchi

The report added that it now remains unclear whether Murria will seek to increase her stake further and launch a takeover bid for the firm.

Murria is the founder of Advanced Computer Software, a tech firm which previously created technology for the NHS that was later sold to a private equity firm. She currently sits on the boards of Bunzl and Softcat.

Prior to increasing her stake last month, Murria had previously been offered a role as a non-executive director at M&C, but was said by people close to the agency to have turned it down due to other commitments.

Read more: M&C Saatchi scraps dividend and cuts salaries due to coronavirus

Founded by Maurice and Charles Saatchi in 1995, the London-based ad giant remains under investigation by watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority for an £11.6m accounting scandal.

The woes led to an exodus of four directors at M&C, including Maurice Saatchi.

M&C Saatchi was contacted for comment. Murria could not be reached for comment.

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