M&C Saatchi batted away yet another takeover bid from the investment vehicle spearheaded by tech tycoon Vin Murria, valuing the firm at £253.6m.
In an announcement this morning, Murria’s AdvanceADVT tabled two options to investors that would allow them to choose to receive either a combination of cash and shares, or an all share offer of 2.530 new shares for each M&C shares.Both options valued the firm at 207.5p per share, representing a 27 per cent premium to the company’s closing price on Monday.
The fresh offer from Murria marked an effort to circumvent the advertising giant’s top brass and gain the support of shareholders, after she said recommendations from the firm’s independent directors “has not been forthcoming” despite attempts to engage since the start of this year.
AdvanceADVT, which is already M&C’s top shareholder, had a previous all-share bid rebuffed on the grounds that it did not reflect M&C’s expected future growth. Murria has received four previous ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’ deadlines.
In a dramatic turn of events, M&C came back this afternoon to reject the offer, with Chair Gareth Davis calling the offer “derisory” and urging shareholders to reject it.
Once again M&C said the offer “does not recognise the fundamental growth potential”, citing the company’s recent results showing record statutory profit before tax of £21.6m.
However, it is not game over for Murria, who has around 20 per cent of M&C shareholders backing the deal, and is still calling on the remaining shareholders to get behind her bid.
Shares initially soared 10 per cent this morning after the offer was made, but lost most of these gains following the chairman’s rejection.