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M&C Saatchi PLC (SAA)

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Wednesday 18 November, 2020

M&C Saatchi PLC

Directorate Change

RNS Number : 7943F
M&C Saatchi PLC
18 November 2020
 

M&C SAATCHI PLC

Management and Board succession, updates on current trading and 2019 audited results

 

M&C Saatchi plc (the Company), along with its subsidiaries (the Group), announces the following:

· Management and Board succession plan underway and new leadership announced 

· The Company continues to trade well and profitably in 2020, despite uncertain global economic environment

· Future growth strategy to be presented by the new leadership team at a capital markets day in January 2021

· 2019 Audited Results expected to be published imminently, following which share trading to resume

 

Management and Board Succession

Over the last year the board of directors (the Board) has been focused on strengthening the Company's governance and operational controls, ensuring the business successfully navigates the Covid-19 pandemic and has the right strategy and structure to take advantage of the growth opportunities it sees in its markets.

Significant progress has been made in all of these areas. In the first quarter of 2020, four new independent Non-Executive Directors were appointed to the Board. The Company has a new finance team, improved financial and accounting systems and compliance rules, and a simplified group structure. The Group is performing  better than it had expected at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic and is on track to present its new growth strategy and support structure at a capital markets day in January 2021.

Given this progress, the Group's Executive Chairman, Jeremy Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, David Kershaw and Executive Director, Bill Muirhead, have informed the Board that they wish to step down from the Board and leave the Company, handing over the business to new leadership as it enters its next chapter.

 

Gareth Davis, currently Non-Executive Deputy Chairman, will become Independent Non-Executive Chairman following the close of the Company's annual general meeting which will take place after publication of the 2019 Audited Results and at which Jeremy Sinclair will step down from the Board.

The Board will appoint Moray MacLennan, currently CEO Worldwide, to succeed David, who will step down by the end of the year, as M&C Saatchi plc's next Chief Executive Officer. Moray will take up his role and join the Board on 1 January 2021, following a comprehensive handover process and on completion of customary AIM director diligence requirements.

Bill Muirhead intends to step down from the Board in March 2021.

Following the implementation of these changes, the Board will comprise the following Directors:

· Gareth Davis, Independent Non-Executive Chairman

· Moray MacLennan, Chief Executive Officer

· Mickey Kalifa, Chief Financial Officer

· Lisa Gordon, Senior Independent Director

· Louise Jackson, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Remuneration Committee

· Colin Jones, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Audit Committee

 

Current trading

The Group continues to see strong client retention and new business won across geographies and disciplines, including major new public sector and corporate clients.

The balance sheet remains strong with net cash of £25.7m at 31 October 2020.

The Group expects its full year 2020 PBT and cash position to be in line with the trading update announced on 28 October 2020.

 

Update on audited annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 and temporary suspension of share trading

As announced on 1 October 2020, trading in the Company's shares has been temporarily suspended until publication of the audited annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 (2019 Audited Results).

The Company expects to announce the publication of its 2019 Audited Results imminently, at which time it will request a restoration of trading in its shares.

No headline adjustments or further restatements of the Group's unaudited results published on 29 September have been identified to date.

 

Jeremy Sinclair, David Kershaw and Bill Muirhead commented:

"We are immensely proud of the Company and all the people and all the clients who have allowed us to do some great work. The entrepreneurial M&C Saatchi spirit has created a diverse global organisation which has more than met our hopes. We have spent this last year replacing ourselves, re-examining the strategy and importantly re-building the Board. That having been done, it is time for us to make a graceful exit, although we plan to remain shareholders.

"We are confident that our successors will succeed and lead the Company we founded 25 years ago to greater heights."

 

Gareth Davis, Deputy Chairman, commented:

"I very much look forward to being Chairman during what, I'm sure, will be an exciting and successful future. We have navigated our way through our recent problems and the enduring strength of the business, founded and developed by Jeremy, David and Bill, will serve us well in the future.

"The Board is in no doubt that Moray will be an outstanding successor to David. He has the experience, strategic vision and proven leadership qualities to ensure M&C Saatchi thrives into the future."

 

 

 

Moray MacLennan, Chief Executive Designate, commented:

"I would like to thank our founders Jeremy, Bill and David for their inspiration and support over many years. Much has been learnt over the past 12 months and I believe M&C Saatchi is stronger and wiser coming out of 2020.  The Company has benefitted from the guidance of a strong, independent Board and following the conclusion of a strategic review of our business and markets, I look forward to sharing our plans for future growth at the capital markets day in January."

 

For further information please contact:

M&C Saatchi  +44 (0)20-7543-4500

David Kershaw, Mickey Kalifa

Tulchan Communications    +44 (0)20-7353-4200

Tom Murray

Numis Securities    +44 (0)20-7260-1000

Nick Westlake, Hugo Rubinstein, NOMAD

Charles Farquhar, Corporate Broking

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