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Vin Murria becomes largest shareholder in M&C Saatchi


Vin Murria (File photo)
Vin Murria (File photo)

Technopreneur Vin Murria became the largest shareholder in M&C Saatchi as she acquired 13.25 per cent stake in the troubled advertising firm. Following the announcement, shares of the company zoomed 30 per cent and reduced its recent losses.

The deal happened for an undisclosed amount and it is also unclear that who sold the stake.

After reporting irregularities in the accounts the company suffered set backs in the recent past. Now, M&C is valued at only £60 million, down by 85 per cent from its peak two years ago.

Indian-origin Murria, 57, is a seasoned technology executive and angel investor. She came to Britain aged three. She is a prominent investor in technology companies and is an adviser to Hg Capital, a private equity fund, and NM Rothschild, the investment bank.

In 2008, she founded Advanced Computer Software, which provided technology services to the NHS. The company acquired numerous smaller competitors and was taken over by Vista Equity Partners in a £725 million deal several years later.

Prior to this Murria formed Computer Software Group plc in 2002, which was initially taken private, with backing from Hg, and exited to Hellman Friedman in 2007 for £0.5bn under the name of IRIS Software Group. IRIS continues to be an Hg investment and is one of the UK’s most trusted providers of business-critical software.

She started her career as a sales executive, joining Kewill Systems plc (now BluJay Solutions) in 1986, before exiting the business over 15 years later as COO, having overseen significant growth at the company and a valuation touching £1.2bn in March 2000.

She is a serial investor and advisor to the software start up and wider business community, for businesses in need of combined experience in venture capital, private equity, operational and non-executive roles.

In 2007, she formed PS Foundation, a charitable foundation targeted at educating and supporting women in India and the UK. She is also a Patron of Prince’s Trust, the Outward Bound Trust and Shivia, which works with communities in India, to help people work their way out of poverty.

In 2018, she received an OBE for services to the UK digital economy and advancing women in the software sector.

Murria is also on the boards of Softcat, DWF, Finncap and Bunzl, all listed entities. She had previously served on the boards of Zoopla Plc and Chime Communications Plc.

Reports speculate that Murria would remove David Kershaw, 66, the chief executive, and other veteran directors.