M&C Saatchi founders place £1m bet on ad agency fortunes | Business News

Three members of the quintet that founded M&C Saatchi nearly 30 years ago have placed a £1m bet on the revival of the advertising agency’s fortunes.

Sky News has learnt that David Kershaw, Bill Muirhead and Jeremy Sinclair, have collectively invested the sum in M&C’s London-listed stock.

It takes their combined stake to about 6% of the company, and comes weeks after it announced that Moray MacLennan, its veteran chief executive, would step down from the role.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, the former boss of magazine publisher Future and chair of M&C Saatchi, will become executive chair when Mr MacLennan steps down on 30 September.

In a statement, Mr Kershaw said on behalf of the three participating co-founders: “We of course know there are superb businesses with great leaders in the group.

“Now with Zillah’s strategic focus and record of transformational change we are extremely confident that the company’s true performance and valuation will be realised.”

M&C was founded in 1995 by Messrs Kershaw, Muirhead and Sinclair along with the brothers Maurice (now Lord) Saatchi and his brother Charles.

It has been responsible for some of the ad industry’s most prominent campaigns, and has worked for the government, the Conservative Party and companies including Barclays, Heineken and British Airways.

M&C’s businesses extend well beyond traditional advertising, encompassing sports sponsorship broking and activation, digital and social media marketing and talent management.

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In June, it warned of declining revenues in 2023 amid difficult trading conditions in a slowing economy.

The search for Mr MacLennan’s successor comes after a turbulent period for M&C, which was last year at the centre of a bidding war involving both Ms Murria and Next Fifteen Communications, another London-listed company.

On Friday, shares in M&C closed at 122p, giving it a market capitalisation of around £150m.


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