January 2019

Transaction Background

Founded in 1998, Walker Media was acquired by M&C Saatchi almost a decade later. In 2013 M&C Saatchi sold 75.1% of Walker Media to Publicis Groupe who subsequently rebranded the business Blue 449. This deal sees the remaining 24.9% stake of Blue 449 sold to Publicis Groupe, who will now be the sole owner of the agency.   

Blue 449, which counts Asda, Dixons Carphone, Weight Watchers, Kayak, and Ralph Lauren among its roster of clients, will continue to be led by UK Chief Executive Officer Simon Davis and will be fully incorporated into the Publicis Groupe’s solution hub, Publicis Media.  

The total consideration for the 24.9% stake is £25m, which equates to a total valuation of approximately £100m. The cash proceeds will be used to fund future growth, consistent with M&C Saatchi’s strategy of winning new business by starting new businesses.

Our Role

Clarity was the sole corporate financial advisor to the Board of M&C Saatchi on the transaction having previously advised on the sale of the 75.1% stake to Publicis Groupe in 2013.  

Clarity led negotiations with Publicis Groupe and was responsible for the overall transaction including liaising with multiple advisors, managing due diligence and ultimately ensuring an optimal outcome was reached.

“Having worked with Clarity on the first Walker Media transaction we had no hesitation at all in asking for their help this time around. Once again we were impressed by the quality of advice given throughout the process and the wealth of knowledge and experience they brought to bear in negotiating an excellent deal for us.”

David Kershaw
Chief Executive Officer, M&C Saatchi