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July 12, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:27am

Lord Rothermere considers bid to take Daily Mail news group private

By PA Media

Lord Rothermere is considering a bid to make the owner of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Metro and i newspapers private in a deal worth £810m.

The newspapers are currently part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, listed on the stock market since 1932.

But if the sale of its insurance risk division and a 16% stake of Cazoo is distributed to shareholders following the car business’s listing in the US, the great-grandson of the newspaper’s founder intends to make a bid to de-list it.

Lord Rothermere (pictured) is already the controlling shareholder of DMGT via his family’s business, but a deal to turn it private would see it leave the stock market.

DMGT confirmed it was in discussions to sell its insurance risk division following approaches from interested parties, with proceeds from the sale of 610p per share via a special dividend.

The insurance division could be sold in the next few months and follows the disposals in recent years of Hobsons, Genscape and Zoopla, which collectively raised £1.2bn. DMGT also offloaded a 50% stake in Euromoney.

The company would also hold a 16% stake in Cazoo which plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

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If both insurance and Cazoo plans are completed, Lord Rothermere’s company, Rothermere Continuation Limited (RCL), would be prepared to make a 251p-per-share cash offer to take the remainder of DMGT private, the company revealed.

DMGT said: “The possible offer implies an enterprise value of £810m (with DMGT assuming debt with a fair value of approximately £230m) for all of the trading and investment businesses of DMGT, excluding RMS (the insurance business), the Cazoo shares and the cash subject to the Special Dividend.”

It added: “The independent DMGT directors have indicated … they would be minded to recommend the Possible Offer to DMGT’s shareholders”.

Lord Rothermere now has until 9 August to make a formal offer or confirm no deal will be made, under stock market rules.

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