Ad group M&C rejects latest takeover from Murria, agree to talk

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

LONDON (Reuters) - The independent directors of British advertising group M&C Saatchi have rejected another takeover approach from its biggest shareholder Vin Murria, but agreed to continue talking to see if a deal can be done.

M&C said in a statement on Thursday that the latest offer from Murria’s AdvancedAdvT acquisition vehicle still undervalued the firm but they were willing to continue talks after they discussed the proposition with other shareholders.

As a result a takeover panel deadline, set for later on Thursday, has been pushed back until March 3.

Under the latest offer, Murria’s acquisition vehicle offered either a share and cash mix, or all-share bid, with both options valuing the firm at 230 pence per M&C share. Advanced said that was a 44% premium to the pre-approach share price.

The latest offer would value M&C, known for its historical advertising links to the ruling Conservative Party, at around 281 million pounds ($381 million).

“The Independent Directors believe that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders in M&C Saatchi to continue to engage constructively in discussions with AdvT,” M&C said.

($1 = 0.7377 pounds)

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Alistair Smout and Jason Neely