Following an extensive restructuring of the business Jonathan Harmsworth, Viscount Rothermere, has tabled a formal offer for the Daily Mail and General Trust at about £2.9bn.
It was made after DMGT agreed with pension trustees over how its retirement scheme would be financed after being made private, removing a final hurdle for the bid’s proceeding.
DMGT agreed to pay £412m into their main pension scheme and agreed to restrictions on future dividend pay-outs and controls on debt levels.
However, DMGT also said it was not ruling out job cuts to respond to rising inflation, with the company facing rising costs for newsprint and “substantial” rises in distribution and energy costs.
“DMGT is currently exploring a number of options to mitigate the impact of these cost increases, including a review of employee numbers,” it said in a statement.
The Rothermeres have a 34% stake in the company and voting rights. However, they do not have the power to ensure that other shareholders accept the bid and for its success at least 90% of shareholders must vote in its favour.
Majedie Asset Management, which owns 4.6 per cent of DMGT shares, urged other investors not to accept the offer. Fund manager Chris Field said there was “an inherent asymmetry of information working against non-family shareholders which we have urged the non-executives to address to allow shareholders to make an informed decision”.
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