The corporate contraptions, by which control of the Daily Mail and General Trust has been passed from one generation of Rothermeres to the next, clanked into action again on Monday. From the statement…
The Company has been notified that Rothermere Continuation Limited has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the entire shareholding of The Esmond Harmsworth 1998 Settlement in the Company’s ordinary voting shares, increasing Rothermere Continuation Limited’s shareholding of ordinary voting shares in the Company from 59.9% to 89.2%.
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
– UBS to cut 3,500 jobs, to take SFr450m restructuring charge in second half — statement. Read more
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
– BP reveals $17bn loss; $32.2bn pre-tax charge — statement and statement. Read more
Daily Mail & General Trust has sold half of DMG Radio Australia, its Australian radio business, to Illyria, Lachlan Murdoch’s private investment vehicle, for about £63m. Murdoch, son of News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, was once seen as heir to his father’s empire. However, in 2005 he quit as News Corp’s deputy COO and moved back to Sydney. He will become chairman of the new joint venture. This week he sold about 2.3m News Corp shares, or just over half his common shares, for about $27.6m.
Breaking pre-market news on Thursday,
– Panmure Gordon announces £23m (34p) share placing with Qinvest, which will own 44% of company – statement. Read more
Not our opinion, naturally.
LONDON (Standard & Poor’s) April 23, 2009–Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it lowered to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘ its long-term corporate credit rating on U.K.-based newspaper and media group Daily Mail & General Trust PLC (DMGT). In addition, the short-term rating on DMGT was lowered to ‘B’ from ‘A-3’. Read more
Alexander Lebedev, the Russian billionaire and former KGB officer, is in close discussions with Daily Mail & General Trust to buy a controlling stake in its London evening paper, the Evening Standard. A person close to the talks said a conclusion was likely in coming days, although the negotiations were “a very on-off process”. Lebedev who has press interests in Russia would be the first Russian citizen to own a high-profile UK newspaper if the proposed deal is completed. He has been in direct discussions with DMGT, the Standard’s owners, over the sale of 75% of the newspaper plus one share. The Standard is believed to lose £10m to £20m a year but has been close to the heart of the Rothermere family, which controls DMGT.
Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB lieutenant-colonel, a deputy of the Russian State Duma and billionaire banker, approached Daily Mail & General Trust last month with an offer to buy the Evening Standard, but the company rejected Lebedev’s proposal without detailed discussion. It is not known how much he offered for the paper. Having made his fortune in banking, Lebedev, 47, is the owner of Korrespondent, a Moscow weekly news magazine, and together with his close friend, the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, owns 49% of a newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.
The latest on Thursday.
– IG Group reports rise in pre-tax profits, H1 doubtful debt charge of £15m – statement Read more
Loot, the classified advertising magazine that attracted a valuation of £190m at the height of the dotcom boom, could be sold by Daily Mail and General Trust for substantially less. The media group said Wednesday it was studying a possible disposal of the magazine, after receiving expressions of interest from possible suitors. Apax Partners, which operates the Autotrader classified magazine in a joint venture with Guardian Media Group, is understood to be a candidate. Other possible acquirers could include an online marketplace such as Ebay or QXL Ricardo.