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M&C Saatchi - Update on Regulatory Conditions and Transaction Timetable

·3-min read

LONDON, August 15, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

15 August 2022

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF SUCH JURISDICTION.

FINALi CASH AND SHARE ACQUISITION

OF

M&C SAATCHI PLC

BY

NEXT FIFTEEN COMMUNICATIONS GROUP PLC (the "Company")

UPDATE ON REGULATORY CONDITIONS AND TRANSACTION TIMETABLE

As detailed in the scheme document published by M&C Saatchi plc on 17 June 2022 (the "Scheme Document"), the Next 15 Offer is conditional, amongst other things, upon certain competition and regulatory approvals being received, including UK CMA merger control approval, and approvals under the UK National Security and Investment Act 2021 ("NSIA"), the Australian foreign investment regulatory framework and from the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS").

The Company has now received the necessary regulatory approvals under each of the NSIA and the Australian foreign investment regulatory framework in respect of the Next 15 Offer. As such, Condition 3(c)(ii) relating to the NSIA and Condition 3(c)(iii) relating to the FIRB Condition have now been satisfied.

In addition, in respect of Condition 3(c)(i), the CMA has responded to the briefing paper submitted by the Company in respect of the Next 15 Offer to confirm that it has no further questions in relation to the Next 15 Offer and, as at the date of this announcement, has not otherwise opened an inquiry, or indicated in writing that it is still investigating whether to open an inquiry.

As such, the final regulatory approval which remains outstanding in relation to the Next 15 Offer is the CFIUS approval, which, as set-out in the Scheme Document and prior Company announcements, the Company expects to receive early in Q4 2022.

Capitalised terms used but not defined in this announcement shall have the meanings given to them in the Scheme Document, a copy of which is available on Next 15's website at www.next15.com/investors/.

Enquiries:

Next 15

Tim Dyson (Chief Executive Officer)

+1 415 350 2801

Peter Harris (Chief Financial Officer)

+44 20 7908 6444

Smith Square Partners (Financial adviser to Next 15)

+44 20 3696 7260

John Craven

Jonathan Coddington

Douglas Gilmour

Numis (Broker and NOMAD to Next 15)

+44 20 7260 1000

Mark Lander

Hugo Rubinstein

Berenberg (Broker to Next 15)

+44 20 3207 7800

Ben Wright

Mark Whitmore

Richard Andrews

MHP (PR adviser to Next 15)

+44 20 3128 8100

Peter Hewer

next15@mhpc.com

Robert Collett-Creedy

Peter Lambie

Important Information

Smith Square Partners LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Next 15 and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and other matters set out in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Next 15 for providing the protections afforded to clients of Smith Square Partners, or for providing advice in connection with the Acquisition or any matter referred to herein. Neither Smith Square Partners nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Smith Square Partners in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Numis Securities, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Next 15 as nominated adviser and broker, and exclusively for M&C Saatchi as joint financial advisor and joint broker, and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Next 15 and M&C Saatchi for providing the protections afforded to clients of Numis nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition or any other matters referred to in this announcement. Neither Numis nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Numis in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG, London Branch ("Berenberg"), which is authorised and regulated by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and is deemed authorised and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Next 15 and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and other matters set out in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Next 15 for providing the protections afforded to clients of Berenberg, or for providing advice in connection with the Acquisition or any matter referred to herein. Neither Berenberg nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Berenberg in connection with this Announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Further information

This announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to and does not constitute or form part of an offer, invitation or the solicitation of an offer or invitation to purchase, or otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities of Next 15 or M&C Saatchi pursuant to the Acquisition in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable laws. The Acquisition will be implemented solely pursuant to the terms of the Scheme Document (or, in the event that the Acquisition is to be implemented by means of an Offer, the offer Document), which contains the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, including details of how to vote in respect of the Acquisition. Any decision in respect of, or other response to, the Acquisition should be made on the basis of the information contained in the Scheme Document.

This announcement does not constitute a prospectus or prospectus equivalent document.

Overseas jurisdictions

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in or into jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom should inform themselves about, and observe any applicable legal or regulatory requirements. In particular, the ability of persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom to vote their M&C Saatchi Shares with respect to the Scheme at the M&C Saatchi Court Meeting, or to execute and deliver forms of proxy appointing another to vote at the M&C Saatchi Court Meeting on their behalf, may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located. Any failure to comply with the applicable restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law the companies and persons involved in the Acquisition disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person. This announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with English law and the Takeover Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom.

Unless otherwise determined by Next 15 or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, the availability of New Next 15 Shares to be issued pursuant to the Acquisition to M&C Saatchi Shareholders will not be made available, directly or indirectly, in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction and no person may vote in favour of the Acquisition by any such use, means, instrumentality or form within a Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction if to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of that jurisdiction. Accordingly, copies of this announcement and any formal documentation relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of that jurisdiction, and persons receiving such documents (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise forward, distribute or send such documents in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction. Doing so may render invalid any related purported vote in respect of the Acquisition. If the Acquisition is implemented by way of a Takeover Offer (unless otherwise permitted by applicable law and regulation), the Takeover Offer may not be made directly or indirectly, in or into, or by the use of mails or any means or instrumentality (including, but not limited to, facsimile, e-mail or other electronic transmission or telephone) of interstate or foreign commerce of, or of any facility of a national, state or other securities exchange of any Restricted Jurisdiction and the Takeover Offer may not be capable of acceptance by any such use, means, instrumentality or facilities or from within any Restricted Jurisdiction.

The availability of New Next 15 Shares pursuant to the Acquisition to M&C Saatchi Shareholders who are not resident in the United Kingdom or the ability of those persons to hold such shares may be affected by the laws or regulatory requirements of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are resident. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements. M&C Saatchi Shareholders who are in doubt about such matters should consult an appropriate independent professional adviser in the relevant jurisdiction without delay.

Further details in relation to M&C Saatchi Shareholders in overseas jurisdictions are contained in the Scheme Document.

The Acquisition is be subject to the applicable requirements of the Takeover Code, the Panel, the London Stock Exchange and the FCA.

Additional information for US Investors

The Acquisition relates to the shares of a company incorporated in England and Wales and is proposed to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 that will be governed by the laws of England and Wales. A transaction effected by means of a scheme of arrangement is not subject to the tender offer rules or the proxy solicitation rules under the US Exchange Act. Accordingly, the Acquisition is subject to the disclosure requirements and practices applicable in the United Kingdom to schemes of arrangement which differ from the disclosure requirements of United States tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. If, in the future, Next 15 exercises the right to implement the Acquisition by way of a Takeover Offer and determines to extend the Takeover Offer into the United States, the Acquisition will be made in compliance with applicable United States laws and regulations.

Financial information included in this announcement, the Next 15 Circular and/or the Scheme Documentation has been or will have been prepared in accordance with accounting standards applicable in the United Kingdom that may not be comparable to financial information of US companies or companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States.

It may be difficult for US holders of M&C Saatchi Shares to enforce their rights and any claim arising out of the US federal laws, since M&C Saatchi and Next 15 are located in a non­US jurisdiction, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of a non­US jurisdiction. US holders of M&C Saatchi Shares may not be able to sue a non­US company or its officers or directors in a non­US court for violations of the US securities laws. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non­US company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a US court's judgement.

The New Next 15 Shares to be issued pursuant to the Scheme have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act or the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and such other laws. The Acquisition is intended to be carried out under a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (which requires the approval of the Scheme Shareholders). If so, it is expected that any New Next 15 Shares to be issued pursuant to the Scheme to M&C Saatchi Shareholders will be issued in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act, provided by Section 3(a)(10) thereof. The New Next 15 Shares issued pursuant to the Scheme will not be registered under any US state securities laws and may only be issued to persons resident in a state pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of the securities laws of such state.

Publication on website and availability of hard copies

A copy of this announcement will be available, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions, for inspection on Next 15's website www.next15.com/investors/ by no later than 12 noon (London time) on the Business Day following this announcement. For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of the websites referred to in this announcement are not incorporated into and do not form part of this announcement.

Next 15 Shareholders may request a hard copy of this announcement by contacting Next 15's registrars, Link Group, 0371 664 0300. Calls are charged at the standard geographic rate and will vary by provider. From overseas please call +44 (0)371 664 0300. Calls from outside the United Kingdom will be charged at the applicable international rate. Lines are open between 9.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. Monday to Friday excluding public holidays in England and Wales.

Dealing and Opening Position Disclosure requirements

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code, any person who is interested in one per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the Offer Period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified.

An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th Business Day following the commencement of the Offer Period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th Business Day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Takeover Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in one per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the Business Day following the date of the relevant dealing. If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4). Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Panel's website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the Offer Period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

_______________________

i Next 15 reserves the right to increase the offer price if there is an announcement on or after the date of this announcement of an offer or a possible offer for M&C Saatchi by a third party offeror or potential offeror, other than ADV.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220814005017/en/

Contacts

Next Fifteen Communications Plc