Next 15 CEO hopeful about M&C Saatchi bid following interim results

Tim Dyson describes the bidding process as a 'bit like a soap opera,' which has 'dragged on a lot longer than any of us probably wanted it to.'

Next 15 CEO Tim Dyson.

Next 15 chief executive Tim Dyson has expressed hope for the company’s M&C Saatchi takeover bid following strong interim results.

According to the figures, Next 15's group net revenue has grown by 65% in the first half of 2022 to £274 million ($293 million) in 2022.

Profit before tax grew to £60.7 million ($65 million), up 73% from 2021. 

Dyson said: “What we'd like to believe is that this demonstrates to [M&C Saatchi’s] shareholders that we know how to run a good company.

“Shareholders are being asked to decide ‘Would I rather be part of an independent M&C Saatchi or Next 15?'" he said. "Hopefully, we would be a pretty safe bet, and that’s what we would hope shareholders would read into that.”

Next 15, the owner of PR firms Archetype, MBooth, Outcast, The Brandwidth Group and Publitek, launched a recommended offer for the creative agency in May 2022, and then suffered a subsequent fall in its share prices, upon which M&C Saatchi withdrew its recommendation

Dyson said the final result of the bid is expected at the end of October. He added that, following the results announcement this morning, M&C Saatchi board members and people in the management team had been in touch to say how “impressed” they were with the results.

Dyson described the bidding process as a “bit like a soap opera," which had “dragged on a lot longer than any of us probably wanted it to."

Next 15 bought Engine Group U.K. in March and has merged the shop with creative agency Odd. The combined entity rebranded as House 337 this month.

Dyson said the company had worked to modernize House 337's processes, which he said were previously “labor-intensive and not therefore terribly profitable." Now, he said, the agency can access data from campaigns, which allows it to look at return-on-investment in a “very different way."

"We absolutely want to keep the creative," he said. "We just want to make sure that it is supplied on top of really good analysis, so that they're confident that the creative is genuinely solving the problem that the customer has.”

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