Lord Rothermere is considering taking the Daily Mail private in a deal that could value the newspaper group at £810m.
The Rothermere family has put forward a potential offer that would involve buying about 70% of the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) group that it does not already own. The move would give Rothermere, who is also chairman of the group, full control of DMGT and take the company off the stock exchange.
In a stock market announcement on Monday, the group said Rothermere’s Bermuda-registered holding company Rothermere Continuation Ltd (RCL) was considering a bid of 251p a share, valuing the group at about £810m.
RCL already has a 30% stake in the group – which also owns the Metro and i newspaper titles – and holds all of the vote-bearing shares in DMGT’s two-tier stock structure. It means that the deal is not at risk of facing opposition if a deal is put to a shareholder vote.
tuttavia, the publisher of the Daily Mail said that a potential offer was contingent on a number of factors, including a planned sale of DMGT’s insurance risk business, and the sale of its stake in online car retailer Cazoo, which was valued at $7bn (£5bn) after being snapped up by a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) nel mese di marzo. It is also seeking assurances that the group’s pension schemes will not be affected by the takeover.
The publisher of the Daily Mail has been reorganising the business through disposals and targeted acquisitions of its own in recent years, having bought the New Scientist magazine in £70m deal in March, as well as the i newspaper in a £49.6m deal two years ago.
The cash proceeds of the deals – 610p a share – would be distributed to DMGT shareholders through a special dividend. It would hand RCL at least £500m, and would probably help fund any takeover offer for the newspaper group.
Rothermere has until 9 August to make a firm offer for the business, or walk away.