Daily Mail-led consortium ponders Yahoo bid

11 Apr 2016

A consortium that is being led by UK newspaper the Daily Mail and includes a number of private interests is putting together a plan to bid for Yahoo’s wider assets.

While many newspapers are struggling to cope with the spread of online news, the Mail Online website has established itself in a league of its own and now regularly receives more than 200m unique visitors each month.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, the newspaper’s holding company, Daily Mail & General Trust, will look to increase its online presence even further with a bid for Yahoo’s news and media properties, with the help of several private equity firms.

Yahoo has been struggling financially for some time, with it announcing in December of last year that it was looking to sell a number of its assets to keep in the black.

Last month, the company set a deadline of 18 April for interested parties to outline their preliminary bids, with the Daily Mail bid likely to go one of two similar ways, according to those familiar with how the talks are shaping up.

Two possible scenarios

The first proposed bid would see the other private interests in the bid, believed to include US telecoms giant Verizon, purchase Yahoo’s entire operations in a single bid, with the Daily Mail coming in to take over the reins of is media divisions.

Likewise, a similar deal would see the private interests purchase Yahoo in its entirety, with its media divisions then merging with the Mail Online, giving the paper’s holding company a larger equity stake.

While a number of other bidders, such as  Microsoft, are expected to throw their hat into the ring for Yahoo’s assets, the purchaser is buying a flagging business, with Yahoo’s accountants warning of a drop in revenues by as much as 15pc for this year.

Yahoo sign in Times Square image via Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic