VISCOUNT Rothermere, chairman of Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), yesterday offered to buy the remaining 10.8 per cent of voting shares in the media group that he does not already own.
Harmsworth, who raised his stake in the shares from 59.9 to 89.2 per cent in July, said he will give investors 112.5 non-voting A shares in the company for every 100 voting shares held.
Around 95 per cent of the group’s equity is made up of A shares. The remaining 10.8 per cent of the voting shares are currently held by other family members, former employees and a handful of small institutional investors.
The move is said by insiders to be a “tidying up exercise” intended to avoid confusion between the two share types. Harmsworth’s company, Rothermere Continuation Limited, has long controlled the majority of voting shares.
Harmsworth was advised by Rothschild and Slaughter & May, while DMGT’s independent directors took advice from Lazard.
DMGT’s London-listed A shares closed down 0.4 per cent at 817p yesterday.