Lord Rothermere has upped his offer to shareholders as he seeks to privatise the Daily Mail Group Trust (DMGT).
DMGT’s chairman Rothermere has upped his final offer by 5.9 per cent and has agreed to pay £2.70 for each issued and non-issued share after shareholders were underwhelmed by a previous offer of £2.55 per share.
Rothermere, will also stump up £40m to pay shareholders a final dividend with investors given a deadline of 1pm on 16 December to accept the offer and grant him full control of Daily Mail publisher DMGT.
The company’s non-conflicted directors have judged the offer to be “fair and reasonable.”
The Rothermere family founded the Daily Mail in 1896 and parent company DMGT in 1932, the publisher now owns popular British media titles including the Metro, i Paper, the Daily Mail and Mail Online.
Under Harmsworth Rothermere the company has undergone its transition from digital to print with the launch of the Mail Online in 2003, one of the world’s most read media sites.
The business is in the process of a major reorganisation through a series of high profile disposals and acquisitions in recent years. DMGT bought the New Scientist magazine for £70m in March and snapped up the i newspaper in a £49.6m deal two years ago.
Rothermere takeover in sight
Company chairman Rothermere already owns 34 per cent of shares with an additional 2.6 per cent of shares held by concert parties.
Rothermere has received assurances and irrevocable undertakings which account for 41.8 per cent of issued shares when taken together with the shares he already owns. Once the 50 per cent threshold is reached, which will require investors holding just eight per cent of remaining shares to agree to the purchase, the offer will become unconditional and Rothermere intends to delist DMGT.
Abi Watson, analyst at Enders Analysis, said that the move is “no surprise”. She said: “It is nudging the institutional investors.”