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Tech queen Vin Murray refuses to drop out of race for ad giant M&C Saatchi

Tech queen Vin Murray refuses to drop out of the race for M&C Saatchi after the ad giant urges shareholders to back her rival’s £310m bid.

Vin Murray has responded to reports that he conceded defeat in the battle for M&C Saatchi after a rival bid for the ad agency, amid growing speculation that the British tech queen could make another bid.

AdvancedAdvT, Murray’s vehicle, which together with his personal stake owns just over 22 per cent of the ad company, said a £310m offer from Next Fifteen Communications announced last Friday “does not reflect fairly” the “significant synergies” available to M&C Saatchi shareholders. .

The firm added that she and Murray would “continue to consider their options” in response to Next Fifteen’s offer.

Considering his options: Tech entrepreneur Vin Murray (pictured), who is also deputy chairman of M&C Saatchi, submitted a hostile bid last Tuesday worth £266m

Considering his options: Tech entrepreneur Vin Murray (pictured), who is also deputy chairman of M&C Saatchi, submitted a hostile bid last Tuesday worth £266m

share at M&C Saatchi rose 1.4 percent, or 3 pence, to 216 pence after the announcement, suggesting investors were hopeful that Murray might emerge with a new counteroffer.

The 60-year-old tech entrepreneur, who is also deputy chairman of M&C Saatchi, made a hostile bid last Tuesday worth £266m.

The proposal was rejected by the other directors of M&C Saatchi, with chairman Gareth Davis calling Murray’s proposal “laughable” and “significantly undervaluing” the group.

And days later, the firm revealed it had struck a deal with Next Fifteen that it deemed “superior” to AdvancedAdvT’s proposal and urged shareholders to back the offer.

Murray responded late on Friday, saying the terms of AdvancedAdvT’s offer would not be increased.

But yesterday’s announcement has sparked speculation that there could be an incoming proposal in light of the Next Fifteen bust.

Victoria Scholar, chief investment officer at Interactive Investor, said Murray winning the takeover fight was “unlikely at this stage” and that she would have to “come up with something special” if she was to pursue her takeover ambitions.

Scholar added that the bidding war seemed “more personal” to Murray than sheer financial gain, but at this point Next Fifteen was in “pole position to close the deal.”

If Murray decided to drop his plans to take over M&C Saatchi, the Next Fifteen deal would give him £67m for his stake.

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