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M&C Saatchi founders back Next 15’s £310m takeover

Three M&C Saatchi Co-Founders Back Next 15’s £310m Takeover of Pioneering Advertising Agency

Three co-founders of M&C Saatchi have thrown their weight behind communications giant Next 15’s £310m takeover of the pioneering ad agency.

Industry veterans David Kershaw, Jeremy Sinclair and Bill Muirhead plan to back the deal, which was revealed on Friday and has already won unanimous support from M&C Saatchi’s board of directors.

The trio founded the agency with brothers Maurice and Charles in 1995 after an American activist investor expelled them from their original group, Saatchi & Saatchi, which was behind Margaret Thatcher’s famous “Labor Isn’t Working” campaign.

Bidding war: Next 15 bid tops a series of rejected bids from VP and tech industry veteran Vin Murray, which M&C Saatchi said were undervalued

Bidding war: Next 15 bid tops a series of rejected bids from VP and tech industry veteran Vin Murray, which M&C Saatchi said were undervalued

The Next 15 bid tops a series of rejected bids from Vice President and tech industry veteran Vin Murray, which M&C Saatchi said were undervalued. Murray is the largest shareholder of the target of the offering.

Murray said Friday that he would not raise his most recent offer, which was worth less than the Next 15. M&C Saatchi’s second-largest backer, Octopus Investments, withdrew its previous support for his offer, though it has not confirmed whether it supports the deal. Next 15.

Kershaw, Sinclair and Muirhead, who now run a consultancy called Act111, still collectively own more than 8 percent of the AIM-listed company’s shares. This makes them crucial sponsors for the Next 15 to get their acquisition across the line.

Kershaw said: ‘I can speak for my fellow founders that we will certainly support it. It’s good from a shareholder point of view, it puts it at a value that we think is fair and for people in the business we’re thrilled too.”

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