Earlier this week shareholders of ad-marketing group Next Fifteen Communications authorized the company to issue new shares for the purpose of acquiring M&C Saatchi.

But the deal isn’t likely to go through.

In fact, even Next Fifteen officials don’t think it will happen as the company stated in a regulatory filing earlier this week.

The reason: AdvancedAdvT, a competing suitor whose offer for the agency was recently rejected by Saatchi shareholders. ADV as the company is known, along with its chairman Vin Murria, own 22.3% of Saatchi’s outstanding shares.

That’s not enough to control the agency but is enough to play deal killer to other reasonable offers for Saatchi.

And that’s exactly what Murria and ADV have indicated they will do when Saatchi shareholders vote on the Next Fifteen offer next week, barring a sudden and sharp surge in the “implied value” of the Next Fifteen offer.

So for now, it looks like Saatchi will maintain its go-it-alone course, which company officials have stated repeatedly is a viable option.

But who knows, maybe Murria will tire of playing spoiler and go find an agency that actually wants to be acquired and sell its Saatchi shares, leaving the latter to hook up with Next Fifteen or some other “White Knight” suitor.

Leave a Reply