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Business News

Lord Rothermere in £850m deal to take Daily Mail owner private


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Lord Rothermere, the biggest shareholder in the owner of the Daily Mail, has agreed an £850m buyout that will see the group taken private after 89 years on the stock market.

The Rothermere family has agreed to pay 255p a share for Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) plus debts, an increase on a 251p – or £810m – offer made in July.

Investors will also, as part of the deal, receive a special dividend worth 991p per share following the recent US stock market listing of second-hand car platform Cazoo – in which DMGT had a major stake – and the sale of its insurance division RMS.

Undated handout photo issued by the Daily Mail and General Trust of their Chairman Lord Rothermere issued by PA 11/2/2016
Image: Lord Rothermere already owns 36% of DMGT Pic: DMGT

Added to a further final dividend of 17.3p a share and when including debts, DMGT said the total value of the offer and investor payouts came to just over £3bn.

It comes after DMGT and Rothermere Continuation Limited (RCL) reached agreement with trustees of the firm’s pension funds, which will see Lord Rothermere inject £412m into the schemes.

Sky News revealed earlier this week that a deal was imminent.

Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT and director of RCL, said: “The sale of RMS and the Cazoo IPO have delivered excellent shareholder returns, but inevitably DMGT is now a considerably smaller group of businesses, with significantly greater exposure to consumer media.

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“This has led RCL and the DMGT board to decide to implement a major reorganisation of the group by distributing the value created by the RMS sale and the Cazoo IPO in conjunction with the offer.

“We believe the terms of our offer to be fair, particularly bearing in mind not only the existing level of debt within DMGT at a time of increasingly difficult market conditions, but also the restrictions imposed on the operation of the business as part of the settlement with the pension trustees.”

A picture taken on Feb. 27, 2021 in Japan shows scientific journals such as nature, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and New Scientist. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images ) CREDIT AP
Image: DMGT also owns New Scientist Pic: AP

With a 36% stake, the Rothermere family is the largest shareholder in DMGT, which has been listed on the stock market since 1932.

As well as the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, the group also owns the Metro and recently acquired the i newspaper and New Scientist.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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