... as Next Fifteen confirms rumours of takeover bid

Agency talks - Statement reveals takeover talks are under way as firms are considered to be a 'good fit'.

Next Fifteen Communications this week confirmed it is in talks with Huntsworth and Chime Communications about a possible sale.

A Next Fifteen statement on Monday said: 'The Next Fifteen board... can confirm that it has received two approaches to acquire the entire issued share capital of the company.'

A report in this week's Sunday Telegraph said that Chime was in exploratory talks to buy Next Fifteen in an all-share deal, while Huntsworth was looking to make an offer in cash.

PRWeek understands that these discussions remain in an embryonic stage, although Next Fifteen remains keen to sort out its long-term future as soon as possible.

Most market participants agreed that Next Fifteen would be a good fit for both Chime and Huntsworth, given its strength in the Far East and tech/social media - areas into which the group's suitors are thought to be keen to expand.

There is believed to be little overlap in terms of clients. But doubt has been cast on whether Next Fifteen CEO Tim Dyson would want to accept a cash-only offer, given the decline in the group's share price over the past year (see chart).

After news of the talks emerged, Next Fifteen's share price jumped by more than 20 per cent.

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