The upcoming flotation of London-headquartered ad agency M&C Saatchi Worldwide could be far larger than first planned [WAMN: 26-Mar-04], according to Tuesday's The Times.

The shop, which also has outposts in the USA, Australia and ten other nations, now plans to sell up to forty per cent of its stock. This could realise in the region of £75 million ($132.9m; €111.33m) -- a far cry from the £10m originally sought for European expansion.

So why the sevenfold increase? Frères Saatchi, Maurice and Charles, don't exactly need the money.

But, says The Times, the brothers' henchmen (Bill Muirhead, Jeremy Sinclair and David Kershaw who quit Saatchi & Saatchi to follow Maurice and Charles to their new shop back in 1995) are eager to cash-in a substantial chunk of their holdings.

Assures Kershaw, designated as the agency's post-flotation chief executive: "There will be more chips left on the table than are taken off." All the founding shareholders intend to retain "a significant majority" of the company, he says.

Part of the cash raised will fund new offices in France, Germany, Spain and Italy -- presumably at the behest of M&CS clients, among whose number are bluechips such as the ever-loyal British Airways, retail giant Dixons and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff