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MAGGIE PAGANO: Benefit from the ride at M&C Saatchi after Vin Murria’s bid


It is just not the win that Vin Murria wanted however the tech tycoon cannot complain. On Tuesday she launched a hostile bid for M&C Saatchi – and ended the week around £40m richer following a rival bid from Next Fifteen. 

Together along with her investment vehicle, Advanced AdvT, Murria owns 22 per cent of M&C Saatchi shares so Next Fifteen’s £310m offer is a healthy reward. 

Because the promoting agency’s directors have given the thumbs-up to the takeover offer, it’s unlikely that Murria will raise her £245m offer. While they’ve been implacably against her bid – and threatened to quit – they need to perhaps be pleased about her persistence. 

Boost: M&C Saatchi shares jumped by greater than a 3rd to 220p on the news

In spite of everything, Murria’s interest, if not faith within the agency’s potential, has made them, and all investors, an entire lot richer by flushing out a rival bidder. Investors think so too, with M&C Saatchi shares jumping by greater than a 3rd to 220p on the news of the share and money offer valuing them at 247.2p. Her offer was at 207p. 

What’s astonishing is that news of Next Fifteen’s interest had not leaked before yesterday’s bid because the bosses of the 2 groups have been in deep talks for greater than two months. But Next’s US-based Tim Dyson, has been eyeing the agency for years. He decided to attend until its business improved after the messy exit of the founders, while his own grew stronger. 

Putting the 2 agencies together now will give global scale, particularly within the US and UK where, surprisingly, M&C Saatchi is the weaker partner. 

In contrast, the agency is powerful in Asia, Africa and Europe, with a roster of blue-chip clients. The deal looks a superb fit. 

Next Fifteen, which owns a group of companies comparable to the Savanta market research firm and Engine, a ‘digital transformation’ business, is powerful within the space often called data-driven marketing. 

If that sounds horribly techy, it’s because Dyson comes from a tech background, having worked for Microsoft, and includes Google, Amazon and Facebook amongst his clients. The logic is that by bringing together latest data-driven marketing with the sexier, creative work of M&C Saatchi, their offer for a one-size-fits-all approach will prove irresistible to global clients. Who knows? 

But Dyson hasn’t done badly up to now, having built an AIM-listed business price £1.2billion and growing. M&C Saatchi investors, who is not going to be offered all money for his or her shares, should benefit from the ride.

Fear stalks the world 

Sports bras, Pelotons and hand sanitisers were all the fashion only a 12 months ago within the depths of the pandemic. 

But old habits die hard: life is coming back to normal with higher sales of booze, sweets and smokes behind the surprise boost in April’s retail figures. 

The Office for National Statistics figures were higher than forecast after March’s sharp fall, but are still heading down. 

Purchasing for big ticket items like furniture and electrical goods is falling like a stone as consumers remain frightened of the long run Research from GfK suggests households are gloomier than at any time because the 2008 crash, Brexit or indeed throughout the Covid shutdown. 

It is ready to worsen: Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill delivered yet one other bitter pill, warning that inflation is heading into double digits, and far higher rates of interest are on the way in which. Coupled with higher taxes and energy prices, consumers will be forgiven for turning to the booze. 

We are usually not alone. This shift in consumption and fears of a recession touch every corner of the globe. The MSCI world equity index of fifty countries is down for the seventh consecutive week. 

Within the US, shares in big retailers comparable to Goal and Walmart fell to levels not seen because the 1987 crash. After weeks of food riots and petrol queues, Sri Lanka has defaulted on its debts. 

While China’s rate of interest cut helped lift markets, the move shows just how anxious the authorities are about future growth.

Self-made woman 

One other businesswoman to have increased her wealth recently is Denise Coates, founder and chief executive of Bet 365, the gambling company. 

Based on the newest Sunday Times wealthy list, she is Britain’s fifth-richest woman with £8.6billion, an increase of £189m on last 12 months. 

She is the just one on the list who made the wealth herself. The others, comparable to Selfridges chair Alannah Weston and film star Salma Hayek, either inherited their fortunes or married them. 

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