Private equity firm Exponent has beaten a bid from the Daily Mail’s owner to buy the publisher of current affairs magazine The Week.
Exponent Private Equity is in talks to buy Dennis Publishing, which makes The Week along with other titles including Viz.
Sky News reported the group could pay between £150m and £200m for Dennis, and would mark a return to media for Exponent, which previously owned the Radio Times.
The offer would trump a bid from Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), which is interested in acquiring The Week, MoneyWeek and The Week’s US sister title.
Dennis trustees are believed to be leaning towards Exponent’s offer as it is for the company’s entire portfolio.
However, DMGT is exploring its options to put itself back in contention, according to Sky News.
The publisher's magazine The Week is valued at around £100m, and has enjoyed year-on-year circulation rises while newspapers struggle in a difficult media environment.
Dennis is up for sale by the trustees of its founder, Felix Dennis', estate and any proceeds from the sale would go towards his Heart of England Forest Charity.
Dennis could not be contacted for comment. Exponent and DMGT declined to comment.