Daily Mail owner on verge of taking newspaper private

Holding company close to deal with company’s three pension funds

Daily Mail and General Trust shares rose 4.2 per cent to 1,098 pence on Tuesday morning in London.

Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere is on the verge of taking the newspaper private after closing in on a deal with its pension funds.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and controlling shareholder Rothermere Continuation Ltd are “close to agreeing a deal with the trustees” of DMGT’s three pension funds, the company said in a statement Tuesday. It would include an injection of about £400 million (€472 million).

DMGT’s shares rose 4.2 per cent to 1,098 pence on Tuesday morning in London.

Signing the pension pact would be the final piece in a complex takeover plan unveiled in July by Rothermere and DMGT. The path to a de-listing has seen the London-based media group sell its insurance and risk unit RMS to Moody’s Corp. in August for $2 billion (€1.7 billion) , and the listing of its stake in online car retailer Cazoo via a US blank-cheque company.


If the plan is successful, shareholders will be paid a special dividend in Cazoo shares and cash, implying an enterprise value of £810 millionfor the remaining DMGT business. To see the talks through, the companies have consented to extend the UK takeover deadline multiple times.

Rothermere is the aristocratic name of Jonathan Harmsworth, who chairs the business. His family’s trust owns about 30 per cent of its overall stock and all of its voting shares in a dual-class structure.

Its best-known business is the Daily Mail newspaper, founded by Harmsworth’s family in 1896. – Bloomberg