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Rothermere renews efforts in Daily Mail takeover

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: A photo illustration showing a copy of the Daily Mail newspaper in a letterbox on July 12, 2021 in London, England. Lord Rothermere, whose great-grandfather founded the paper and who is the controlling shareholder of the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) media group, has floated an offer to buy the roughly 70% of the company he does not already own. The proposal, which is contingent on DMGT selling its insurance business and stake in the online car retailer Cazoo, would take it off the London stock exchange. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Lord Rothermere said the latest offer for the publisher of the Daily Mail, i, Metro and New Scientist is "final". Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Lord Rothermere has redoubled his efforts to take the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT.L) private, raising his offer to 270p a share.

The bid is a 6% increase on the previous bid, which was tabled in November and values the newspaper business at £885m ($1.1bn) including debt.

Lord Rothermere said the latest offer for the publisher of the Daily Mail, i, Metro and New Scientist is "final".

DMGT’s independent directors have recommended that shareholders accept the new deal. They have been given until 1pm on 16 December to decide whether to back the offer.

In the previous weeks two large institutional investors, Majedie Asset Management and JO Hambro Capital Management, had stepped in to block the first offer, which would take the company private after 90 years on the London markets. The pair, which account for 10.2% ownership, said the Rothermere family had undervalued the assets.

Rothermere also changed the terms, so the family now only needs 50% approval from investors to delist. Those unwilling to sell will be offered shares in the private company.

The group has orchestrated a number of deals in recent years, including the buyout of the New Scientist magazine for £70m in March. It also bought i newspaper, which has grown considerably, for £49.6m in 2019.

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The deal has been in the public sphere since July, and relied on a number of factors including the listing of online car seller Cazoo (CZOO), which it partly owns, It was also dependant on the sale of its insurance business, Risk Management Solutions. At the time it was priced at £810m.

The company's stock rose 1.1% on following the news.

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