Rothermere raises offer for Daily Mail owner after investor backlash

Asia's Tech News Daily

The deal increases the value of the take-private bid to £871m after a previous proposal failed to convince a number of key shareholders.

Rothermere raises offer for Daily Mail owner after investor backlash

Image: DMGT owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as well as the Metro and the i

Lord Rothermere, the biggest shareholder in the company behind the Daily Mail, has increased his offer to take the company private for a second time after a backlash from investors.

The newspaper tycoon’s family holding company has raised the price it will pay shareholders in Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) to £871m, or 270p a share.

That is up from 255p per share, or £850m in total, agreed with the DMGT board last month – itself an increase on a 251p, or £810m proposal made in July.

Rothermere raises offer for Daily Mail owner after investor backlash

Image: Lord Rothermere is already the biggest shareholder in DMGT. Pic: DMGT

Rothermere has also reduced the acceptance rate for the deal from 90% to 50%, with 41.8% including the stock he already owns already having agreed to the deal.

DMGT said “non-conflicted” directors had unanimously agreed to recommend the new offer, with a deadline of 16 December.

It is “final and will not be increased”, the Rothermere family said.

If the acceptance condition is not met, the offer will lapse and shareholders will also not receive a special dividend which is part of the deal.

The Rothermeres had agreed an initial deal to take DMGT private last month after the sale of the group’s insurance business, Risk Management Solutions, and a listing of online car seller Cazoo, which it partly owned.

Majedie Asset Management, which owns a 4.6% stake, said at the time that the offer was “substantially below” what it believed was a fair and reasonable valuation.

JO Hambro Capital Management, which manages 3.3% and acts as adviser over a further 2.6% of DMGT shares, said of last month’s offer that it was “underwhelmed and unconvinced”

DMGT owns the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro newspapers as well as the i and New Scientist.

It recently revealed that it was facing newsprint costs at levels not seen for 25 years and that it was “exploring a number of options to mitigate the impact of these cost increases, including a review of employee numbers”.

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