A surprise bidder has emerged in the race for Yahoo's web business.
The newspaper's parent company Daily Mail and General Trust Group (DMGT) is in discussion with private equity firms to launch the bid, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Daily Mail confirmed talks on Monday. In a statement, it 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 that there is no certainty that any transaction will take place. We have no further comment at this time. Further updates will be provided as appropriate."
While meetings between executives have not taken place, according to the report, two options are being considered - a purchase of Yahoo's US operations, with the Daily Mail taking over its news and media sites, or, merging the media sites of both into a new company in which the Mail would take a larger stake.
Shares in DMGT were largely flat on the news.
The deadline for Yahoo bidders is 18 April.
What would a Daily Mail Yahoo mashup look like?
Yahoo's business is particularly wide-ranging, from search and email to fantasy sports sites But, there are several close crossovers between Yahoo and the Daily Mail in terms of publishing, including news sites covering finance, sports, celebrities and more. This would appear a close fit with DMGT's hugely successful mailonline.com, which boasts millions of monthly users and is the most read english-speaking news website in the world.
The combination could also potentially include Yahoo's News Digest app, spawned from Yahoo's purchase of Summly, a UK news app startup created by teen entrepreneur Nick D'Aloisio in 2013. Considering the mailonline's focus could hardly be said to be mobile first, this could provide a new opportunity to pursue that and grow its audience even more.
There are several other parts of the Yahoo business which could also strike a chord with the UK media group for their potential beyond simply websites and further into tech - from search to analytics (Flurry) and even social (Tumblr, Flickr). DMGT already has a stake in content discovery platform Taboola and was an investor in property site Zoopla.
Here are the major crossovers between the two businesses, and those which could be on the table outside those major news sites.