Lord Rothermere is considering an £810m deal to take the Daily Mail news group private.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) owns The Mail on Sunday, Metro and i newspapers, as well as several other data and media businesses. DMGT has been a publicly listed company since 1932.
DMGT said in a statement it was “minded” to accept the offer. Lord Rothermere, whose family founded the Daily Mail, currently owns 28 per cent of the group.
The offer is dependent on DMGT selling its insurance arm and Cazoo, a second-hand car platform.
Cazoo is set to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in a blank-cheque deal valuing the company at $7bn (£5bn).
DMGT has a stake of around 20 per cent in Cazoo, meaning the share sale is set to net £1bn for the group.
If Cazoo’s float and a sale of the insurance division, RMS, are both completed, Lord Rothermere plans to take DMGT private. De-listing the company would mean it is subject to less stringent rules about its corporate governance and the information it has to disclose publicly.
The Daily Mail last year overtook The Sun as the UK’s most widely read print newspaper. The influential newspaper generates only a small fraction of DMGT's overall revenues.
DMGT said: “The possible offer implies an enterprise value of £810m (with DMGT assuming debt with a fair value of approximately £230m) for all of the trading and investment businesses of DMGT, excluding RMS (the insurance business), the Cazoo shares and the cash subject to the special dividend.”
It added: “The independent DMGT directors have indicated ... they would be minded to recommend the possible offer to DMGT's shareholders.”
Lord Rothermere now has until 9 August to make a formal offer or confirm no deal will be made, under stock market rules.