Daily Mail owner given extension on £810m bid to take company private

Lord Rothermere now has until 28 October to make offer, as negotiations continue with pension trustees

Lord Rothermere has secured a deadline extension to make an £810m bid to take the parent of the Daily Mail private, as pension trustees negotiate the scale of future funding payments into the company’s schemes.

The Rothermere family, which has a 30% stake in Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), had until the end of the day on Thursday to make a “put up or shut up” offer for the business.

The Takeover Panel has granted a second extension until 28 October to make an offer, as negotiations continue to secure the backing of DMGT’s pension trustees, the last of three preconditions that must be met to take the business private.

DMGT pays £16m a year into its three main pension schemes. The company has a significant pension deficit, although the scale is not known. Trustees are hoping to secure the future funding of the scheme, which could include asking for an increase in payments, or seeking an asset-backed security solution, such as against DMGT-owned property.

In August, DMGT completed the first of the preconditions, selling the insurance risk business RMS to the credit rating agency Moody’s for £1.4bn.

The second precondition was cleared when the online used car seller Cazoo made its $6bn stock market flotation in New York. DMGT owns a 17% stake in Cazoo, worth about £1bn (£745m).

While pension trustees cannot formally block the move to take the business private, they remain powerful and typically a deal is not pushed through without their backing. DMGT has made gaining their blessing a prerequisite to the takeover.

Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk

The publisher of the Daily Mail has been reorganising the business through disposals and targeted acquisitions in recent years, having bought New Scientist magazine in a £70m deal in March, as well as the i newspaper in a £49.6m deal two years ago.

The company has made £1.2bn from disposals in recent years including the sale of its stake in the property portal Zoopla, the education business Hobsons and the energy data firm Genscape.

If DMGT is taken private it will leave Reach – the parent company of the Mirror, Express and Star national titles and regional publications such as the Manchester Evening News – as the only major UK newspaper group that remains a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Rothermere readies £810m bid to take Daily Mail owner private
Daily Mail & General Trust chair’s family would buy about 70% of group that it does not already own

Kalyeena Makortoff and Mark Sweney

12, Jul, 2021 @8:08 AM

Article image
Daily Mail group executives could share £60m under new bonus scheme
Top four at DMGT also took home £24m despite profits slump amid Covid crisis

Mark Sweney

09, Dec, 2020 @7:32 PM

Article image
Lord Rothermere: Daily Mail owner insists on hands-off approach
Peer is actively involved in business, but told Leveson he has 'fundamental belief' in leaving editors to run newspapers

Mark Sweney

03, Oct, 2013 @6:25 PM

Article image
Rothermere agrees deadline extension to take Daily Mail owner private
Takeover Panel consents to delay in order to allow DMGT time to satisfy a number of preconditions

Mark Sweney Media business correspondent

10, Aug, 2021 @8:10 AM

Article image
Daily Mail is setting poor example to children, says top headteacher
Master of Wellington College says newspaper's attack on Labour leader's late father is damaging education

Toby Helm, Jamie Doward and Daniel Boffey

05, Oct, 2013 @8:01 PM

Article image
Daily Mail owner buys the i newspaper for £49.6m
DMGT will integrate some operations but appears to rule out editorial job cuts

Mark Sweney

29, Nov, 2019 @11:56 AM

Article image
Daily Mail owner leads race to buy the i newspaper
DMGT is frontrunner in pack of publishers after being asked into exclusive talks by owners

Mark Sweney

27, Sep, 2019 @12:17 PM

Article image
Lord Rothermere ups bid in attempt to take Daily Mail publisher private
Offer raised to 270p a share to attract investors who feel business is being significantly undervalued

Mark Sweney

02, Dec, 2021 @9:20 AM

Article image
How the Mail blundered into a vicious battle with Labour
In a crucial week for Lord Rothermere's Daily Mail and General Trust, its editors' actions have left it bloodied but unbowed, as Jamie Doward and Toby Helm report

Jamie Doward and Toby Helm

05, Oct, 2013 @8:01 PM

Article image
Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre is finally unseated – but the damage is done | Roy Greenslade
Press baron Lord Rothermere swayed the Brexit outcome by failing to move the editor

Roy Greenslade

10, Jun, 2018 @1:00 PM