It’s been three months since London-based ad agency M&C Saatchi disclosed that a “potential offer” for the firm might materialize.
Ever since then the agency and the potential offeree—AdvancedAdvT—have been talking but so far the two sides have not been able to come to terms.
AdvancedAdvT is led by Vin Murria, who is also on the M&C Saatchi board as an independent director.
Earlier this week the agency announced a second extension of the so-called “put up or shut up” rule, a UK regulation that requires companies who have publicly signaled potential interest in a company to make a formal offer for the company within 28 days or state their uninterest in doing so. In the case of the latter, the potential acquirer must step away and express no further interest in the target firm for at least six months.
But apparently M&C Saatchi leaders feel the talks are progressing (if slowly) or they would not have agreed to extensions of the PUOSO rule.
In its statement announcing the latest extension, Saatchi said the company has numerous concerns with AdvancedAdvT’s latest offer including its undervaluation of the agency as well as the strategy of Advanced after the acquisition. Advanced also needs to address concerns about the impact of a deal on the agency’s culture and how it intends to effectively incentivize the agency’s current key managers and employees to remain post acquisition.
Other issues are outstanding as well, so despite all the talk so far, it seems that much more talking is still required before an acceptable offer can be put on the table.
The latest PUOSO extension expires April 28.