Rothermeres takes back Daily Mail publisher

Lord Rothermere has succeeded in his bid to remove the Daily Mail publisher’s name from the stock market after the newspaper founder’s grandson won enough shareholder support for his takeover bid despite opposition. for some well-known investors.

The Daily Mail and General Trust said that as of 5pm on Wednesday, 63% of shareholder votes in favor of the offer were made through the family investment vehicle of Jonathan Harmsworth, Viscount Rothermere.

About half of the votes came from family. Harmsworth needs to break through the 50% threshold by 1pm on Thursday for a deal to go through.

He is taking the company private at a time of upheaval at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers and the MailOnline website, the company’s most popular properties.

In a series of management changes in recent weeks, Geordie Greig has been removed from his position as editor of the daily newspaper and his predecessor Paul Dacre has been appointed editor-in-chief of the consumer publications catalog. of the larger corporation.

The takeover bid, after an extensive restructuring of the DMGT that made it focus on consumer media, has also been controversial.

As well as complaining about the low asking price, some investors have criticized the process that allows Rothermeres, the controlling shareholder of DMGT, to buy all the shares they don’t already own. One institutional investor, Majedie, has called on independent directors to disclose the information that prompted them to propose a bid.

Investors unwilling to sell will be offered illiquid shares in a private company, a confusing prospect for many institutional fund managers. Even if they were ready to accept that outcome, the outcome of the vote would mean that Rothermeres would buy back all of the shares.

The positive results for Rothermeres come after the family this month raised its bid to £35m in an attempt to secure shareholder support, lifting it to 270 per cent a share. Excluding dividends, the offer gave DMGT, whose publications also include Metro and i, a corporate value of £885 million at the time it was made.

Shareholders will enjoy a special dividend, including 568p a share in cash and a share interest in Cazoo, the recently listed online car retailer.

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