Daily Mail and Mail Online publisher leaves the stock market after 90 years
By Walé Azeez, CNN Business
(CNN) – A billionaire British aristocrat has deprived the editor of the Daily Mail and Mail Online after agreeing to buy out minority shareholders in a deal valuing the company at £ 885m (£ 1.2bn). dollars).
Lord Rothermere, whose great-grandfather founded the newspaper empire in 1896, announced the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) takeover offer in July. The deal with shareholders will end 90 years of trading in the company’s shares on the London Stock Exchange.
The Daily Mail reportedly overtook Rupert Murdoch’s Sun as Britain’s largest tabloid newspaper last year, and last month it had a circulation of around 900,000 copies, according to the Press Gazette. Its Saturday edition is the most widely read newspaper in the UK.
The Mail Online has grown into one of the world’s leading English-language news sites, with large audiences in the United States and Australia. DMGT also houses free newspapers popular with commuters.
Rothermere, 53, owned 36% of the group before launching his bid for full control. Shareholders rejected his first offer as too low, but enough of them accepted a revised offer, bringing his stake to almost 85% of DMGT and allowing him to delist the stock. The remaining shareholders have until January 6 to accept the final offer or they will be left with shares in the private company.
The buyout comes after DMGT fulfills certain conditions set by Rothermere, including the sale of its RMS insurance business to Moody’s for £ 1.4 billion ($ 1.9 billion) in cash. It ended in September. Another condition was the registration of UK-based online car dealership Cazoo, in which DMGT has a 20% stake. Cazoo debuted on Wall Street in August.
Following his initial offer in July, Rothermere told staff he was attached to the company’s newsrooms.
“We want to reassure you that if this continues it will be business as usual,” he said in an email to staff, part of which was shared with CNN Business.
“While there will be changes related to our corporate structure, what will not change is our commitment to both maintain long-term value by investing throughout the cycle, as well as a diverse portfolio of market-leading brands, ”he wrote..
Earlier this month, the publisher lost a lawsuit in a confidentiality case brought by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, against the Mail on Sunday, after reproducing parts of a private letter she wrote to his father.
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