Daniel Farey-Jones
Jul 24, 2023

M&C Saatchi timeline: from takeover target to MacLennan exit

How two years of uncertainty unfolded at the holding group.

February 2023: MacLennan (r) appointed Justin Graham to a new role heading the group's ad offering
February 2023: MacLennan (r) appointed Justin Graham to a new role heading the group's ad offering

24 July 2023 – Group announces September departure of chief executive Moray MacLennan with Zillah Byng-Thorne to take over as executive chairman.

15 June 2023 – Group announces appointment of Vin Murria’s representative Chris Sweetland to the board.

14 June 2023 – Group warns of “small” decline in full-year like-for-like net revenue in 2023.

18 April 2023 – Group posts record 2022 revenues of £271m with growth of 8.7% over 2021.

30 March 2023 – Group announces appointment of Byng-Thorne as non-executive chairman, effective from 15 June.

March 2023 – M&C Saatchi London chief executive Camilla Kemp departs.

February 2023 – Justin Graham promoted to new role of head of global advertising network from chief executive of M&C Saatchi Group Australia.

24 January 2023 – Group chair Gareth Davis announces intention not to seek re-election.

13 December 2022 – MacLennan awarded 878,022 shares under the company’s long-term incentive plan, vesting on 31 May 2025 subject to performance conditions and continued employment.

December 2022 – M&C Saatchi London chief creative officer Ben Golik departs, with creative partner Guy Bradbury and executive creative director Matt Lee taking over on an interim basis.

31 October 2022 – Group’s proposed sale to Next15 formally abandoned after shareholders led by rival suitor Vin Murria and her vehicle AdvancedAdvT vote against.

30 September 2022 – Murria’s own offer for the Group lapses with only 36% of shareholders (13.2% excluding her stake) having accepted her terms.

8 September 2022 – MacLennan tells Campaign that the takeover saga has been a distraction and the company wants to stay independent.

15 August 2022 – Murria declares intent to vote against Next15’s offer.

20 June 2022 – Board withdraws support for Next15’s offer after a drop in Next15’s share price devalues it.

6 June 2022 – Group removes Murria from the board.

20 May 2022 – Group recommends a £310m bid from Next15.

17 May 2022 – Board rejects Murria’s new, improved offer as “derisory”.

24 January 2022 – Board rejects Murria’s bid valuing the group at around £265m.

6 January 2022 – Group goes public about possible takeover approach from Murria.

Campaign UK

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