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January 3, 2023

Readly lead shareholder rejects acquisition offer

Swedbank Robur, the asset manager which owns 8.8% of Readly, said Bonnier's offer was insufficient.

By Bron Maher

The biggest shareholder in digital newspaper service Readly has said it will decline a bid from Swedish media business Bonnier Group, likely dooming the offer.

In December Bonnier offered 12 Swedish Krona (95p) per share for Readly, with the intention of spinning off the company’s non-Nordic operations, including in the UK, to Cafeyn, a French rival to Readly. The 12kr offer represented a 59% premium over Readly’s 7.4kr share price prior to the acquisition bid, according to Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri.

Swedbank Robur, the asset manager which owns 8.8% of Readly, said Bonnier’s offer was insufficient because “the offer does not reflect the company’s value potential”.

The bid requires 90% shareholder approval, which now looks impossible. Bengtssons Tidnings AB, a shareholder with 2.7% of the company, had already said the offer was too small.

Readly’s chief executive Mats Brandt said: “Until we know the outcome of the bid we will stay dedicated to creating maximum value for all our stakeholders. The transition to becoming a profitable company is proceeding according to plan.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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