Daily Mail parent in talks with private equity for Yahoo bid

Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:51am EDT
 
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By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Daily Mail is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid for Yahoo's (YHOO.O: Quote) internet assets, as it seeks to drive up advertising income from its globally popular websites to counter shrinking print revenue.

The newspaper's parent company, the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGOa.L: Quote), said on Monday it was in early-stage discussions, confirming a Wall Street Journal report that it had approached private equity buyers to team up.

"We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders," a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, declining to name the private equity firms or give any financial details.

But the group could face tough competition to get its hands on the assets of the troubled U.S. internet pioneer.

Several private equity firms are weighing offers, while Time Inc (TIME.N: Quote) is considering teaming up with a partner for a bid, sources have told Reuters. Telecoms giant Verizon (VZ.N: Quote), which owns AOL, is also reportedly interested.

The Mail's celebrity-focused websites, DailyMail.com and MailOnline, are among the world's most popular in the English language. Laden with snaps of Britain's royal family and selfies of reality television stars, they attract a total of 14 million visitors a day.

But the company needs to extract more revenue from online as advertising sales from the right-leaning Daily Mail newspaper shrink fast. Print pushed total advertising revenues down 12 percent in the four weeks from Dec. 27, year-on-year.

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Smartphone with Yahoo logo is seen in front of a displayed Daily Mail logo in this illustration taken April 11, 2016.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration