Victory for Lord Rothermere: End of an era as Daily Mail group exits London Stock Exchange after listing nine decades ago in 1932
The Daily Mail’s biggest shareholder – Lord Rothermere – is heading for victory in his bid to take the Daily Mail group private as the company will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange after almost 90 years.
The newspaper tycoon made a “final” offer to investors in Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) earlier this month of 270p a share, or £871m and reduced the acceptance rate for the deal from 90 per cent of shareholders to 50 per cent.
This was increased from earlier offers of 251p a share, and later 255p, but investors said these deals were underwhelming.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the conditions of a final offer were “satisfied” by the deadline of December 16 and that the board of the DMGT are making applications to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to cancel the listing and stop trading in all DMGT shares.
The announcement stated that it is expected that such applications will take effect as of 8am on January 10.
The Rothermere family is the largest shareholder with a 36 per cent stake in DMGT, which has been listed on the stock market since 1932.
Company chairman Lord Rothermere said: “Today marks a huge milestone for DMGT, as we look towards an exciting and rewarding future under private ownership once again.
“We have always been a business that backs strong leadership and talent, and today is the ultimate expression of that faith.Company chairman Lord Rothermere
“Everything we do is in the service of our customers, for whom we will continue to deliver the absolute best, as we have for over 130 years.
“I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has played a role in making this momentous day possible. I am excited and inspired by what lies ahead.”
The DMGT plans have been in place for several months and had a string of conditions attached, including the successful listing of online car dealership Cazoo on the New York Stock Exchange and the sale of RMS, its insurance business.
As well as the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, the group also owns Metro newspapers and recently acquired The i newspaper and New Scientist.
The business recently revealed that increases in the cost of newsprint are now at levels not seen for 25 years.
As a result, it said: “DMGT is currently exploring a number of options to mitigate the impact of these cost increases, including a review of employee numbers.”
The company added: “There have been recent substantial increases in distribution and energy costs, as well as increases in the cost of newsprint at levels not seen since 1996, and these have started to impact the profitability of the newspaper businesses.”