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Air Mail valuation cut by nearly 50% as takeover talks loom

 (Air Mail)
(Air Mail)

Air Mail has seen its valuation slashed by nearly 50% amid reports the fledgling magazine is in takeover talks.

Daily Mail owner DMGT cut the value of its 3% stake in the business by 46% to £0.7 million, accounts filed with Companies House today show. That would imply a drop in the company’s valuation from $55 million to around $30 million.

But the magazine, set up by industry veteran and ex-Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, could see its value revised back up to as much as $50 million in a takeover deal by US roofing company Standard Industries, whose co-CEOs, David and David, are seeking to diversify the business, according to a report by Semafor.


Current investors RedBird, who are also seeking to mount a takeover of the Telegraph and Spectator titles in the UK, are reportedly seeking to sell their stake.

Air Mail was launched four years ago and has since reportedly racked up 300,000 paid subscribers (including those on a free one-month trial) and turnover of $15 million (£11.4 million). Carter raised $15 million in first-round funding and $17 million in 2021.

74-year-old Carter last year said Air Mail had become big enough to support “a large-scale print magazine” as well as a series of cookbooks.

The Canadian-born journalist was Vanity Fair editor from 1992 to 2017, taking over from Tina Brown who left to edit The New Yorker, also part of the Condé Nast.

DMGT accounts show it also wrote down the value of two of its tech investments. Legal tech firm Farewill saw its valuation slashed by more than £50 million to £30 million, while London fintech business Plum saw £65 million fall in value to £30 million.

A DMGT spokesperson said: “For all of its minority investments, DMGT has consistently applied a prudent set of assumptions when assessing the carrying value of each of these investments, this is particularly prevalent during periods of economic uncertainty.

“The value recorded of each minority investment that DMGT owns, is not to be considered as a reflection of its continued support and commitment to the Venture DMGT has invested in.”