Daily Mail owner considering Yahoo bid

The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper is in talks with other parties about a bid for the struggling US internet company Yahoo.

A spokesman said discussions were “at a very early stage” and there was no certainty a deal would take place.

The Wall Street Journal, where it was first reported, said the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) was discussing an offer with private equity firms.

Yahoo is under pressure from shareholders to turn itself around.

The activist hedge fund investor Starboard Value recently called for the replacement of the entire board at the loss-making company.

The spokesman for Daily Mail said: “Given the success of DailyMail.com and Elite Daily we have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders.

“Discussions are at a very early stage and there is no certainty that any transaction will take place.”

Deadline
DMGT shares were flat in early trading at 695p after initially falling 0.4%. The company is valued at £2.34bn.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said that the potential bid could take two forms.

In one scenario, a private-equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business with the Mail taking over the news and media properties.

In another scenario, the private-equity firm would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and merge its media and news properties with the Mail’s online operations.

Yahoo has set a deadline for 18 April for interested parties to submit their offers.

Time Inc is also reported to be weighing a bid together with a private equity firm.

‘Long suffering’
Earlier this year, Yahoo said it would cut 15% of its workforce as part of chief executive Marissa Mayer’s “aggressive” plan to return the company to profit.

Richard Dunbar, of Aberdeen Asset Management, told the BBC: “[Yahoo] has struggled against Facebook and Google. Its sales have halved over the past 10 years. In contrast Mail Online has been unbelievably successful – the most visited English language news website in the world.

“It will be interesting to see whether the terms of this deal are acceptable to what have been long suffering shareholders at Yahoo.”

Yahoo’s shares have fallen by about 30% since the end of 2014.

Source: BBC

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