STOCKS TO WATCH: M&C Saatchi bosses renew call for investors to reject Vin Murria’s takeover offer, arguing tech entrepreneur’s offer is far too low
M&C Saatchi bosses renewed their call for investors to reject Vin Murria’s takeover offer last week, doubling down on their argument that the tech entrepreneur’s offer is far too low.
Even thick-skinned bidders might find these pushbacks hard to hear but, according to the City grapevine, Murria is privately signalling that she wants to back out.
A source said key members of staff were threatening to walk if her tie-up succeeds.
Making a case: M&C’s co-founder David Kershaw said he ‘cannot see the commercial or financial logic’ in Vin Murria’s bid
It would be hard to recover from an exodus of talent, but Murria must see her offer through as it is legally binding.
M&C’s board has been left in the lurch since a rival bid from Next 15 collapsed after its share price plunged, meaning its stock-based offer was no longer viable.
M&C’s co-founder David Kershaw said he ‘cannot see the commercial or financial logic’ in Murria’s bid.
Many are hoping that Next 15’s shares rebound and it stages an astonishing comeback.
Discontent among Capricorn Energy shareholders
Rumblings reach us of discontent among shareholders of Capricorn Energy, formerly known as Cairn, which is being taken over by fellow industry heavyweight Tullow Oil in an all-stock deal.
The share-based merger, estimated at £657 million, was announced at the start of June.
But Capricorn’s shares are now trading well above the implied terms and Tullow’s shares are lower.
One source said investors want a sweetened deal.
This could be done by handing Capricorn’s backers more Tullow shares or by adding a cash component – though they were doubtful there is the spare change to move it beyond a stock share.
Either way, after a dire few years, FTSE250-listed Tullow will be keener than ever to get it over the line.
Argo Blockchain boss recovering after AGM
Argo Blockchain boss Peter Wall is presumably still recovering from the bloody nose he received at the Bitcoin miner’s annual meeting on Wednesday, when 26 per cent of votes opposed the 2021 executive pay scheme.
This included a £4.4million windfall for the Canadian – a far cry from his £240,000 in 2020.
Still, his bumper pay may help him get through Bitcoin’s worst quarter since 2011.
At £16,000 it is a third of its November 2021 peak.
Sanjeev Gupta still reeling
Pity Sanjeev Gupta, the metals magnate fighting fires across his global empire, GFG Alliance, since its major backer Greensill Capital went bust last year.
While GFG is primarily a loose collection of private entities, many forget that one business in this bundle has a public market listing on AIM.
Shares in tidal energy firm Simec Atlantis Energy plunged after it posted a bruising £74million annual loss last week.
In a matter of days GFG saw its 30 per cent stake in Simec drop in value from £4.4 million to £2.6million.
A small sum by some measures – but one that might be missed at a time when the Serious Fraud Office is still investigating GFG.