LONDON — The publisher of U.K. newspaper and global website the Daily Mail is mulling a bid for Yahoo as the April 18 deadline for offers nears. The group is in talks with several private-equity firms as it seeks a partner for the bid.
A spokesman for parent company the Daily Mail and General Trust said: “We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders (for Yahoo). Discussions are at a very early stage and there is no certainty that any transaction will take place.”
Two options are being considered, according to Wall Street Journal sources. In the first scenario, a private-equity partner would purchase the digital giant, and then the Mail would take over Yahoo’s news and media properties. In the second scenario, Yahoo’s news and media properties would be spun off into a separate company that would include the Daily Mail’s digital assets, with the Mail running the operation and holding a substantial stake.
The deal would beef up the Mail’s standing in the U.S., where it launched a version of its website four years ago. The site, best known for its celebrity news, had 66.7 million unique U.S. visitors in February, according to comScore.
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The Mail joins some 40 companies that have expressed an interest in buying Yahoo, including Verizon, IAC/InterActiveCorp and CBS Corp., it is reported.
Yahoo, which is led by CEO-president Marissa Mayer, reported revenue totaling $4.97 billion last year, and a loss of $4.36 billion.
The Daily Mail was founded in 1896 by brothers Alfred and Harold Harmsworth, with DMGT set up in 1922 to manage the family’s publishing interests. DMGT was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1932, but the Harmsworth family has continued to lead the company to this day, with Jonathan Harmsworth, the fourth Viscount Rothermere, serving as its present chairman. In 2011, the Daily Mail’s website, MailOnline, overtook New York Times as the most visited newspaper website in the world.