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Daily Mail owners and the Rothermere family finalise deal to take group private

·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: A photo illustration showing a copy of the Daily Mail newspaper in a letterbox on July 12, 2021 in London, England. Lord Rothermere, whose great-grandfather founded the paper and who is the controlling shareholder of the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) media group, has floated an offer to buy the roughly 70% of the company he does not already own. The proposal, which is contingent on DMGT selling its insurance business and stake in the online car retailer Cazoo, would take it off the London stock exchange. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
DMGT owns a host of papers including the Daily Mail, the i and Metro. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT.L) said on Wednesday that it had agreed a deal with the Rothermere family to take the company private after 90 years on the London markets. 

The newspaper owner said the deal would comprise of cash, dividends and shares valued at 1,263 pence a share. 

The deal has been in the public sphere since July, and relied on a number of factors including the listing of online car seller Cazoo (CZOO), which it partly owns, It was also dependant on the sale of its insurance business, Risk Management Solutions. At the time it was priced at £810m.

Under the terms of the offer, shareholders will receive 255 pence in cash, a special dividend of 568 pence and 0.5749 Cazoo shares for each share. This is slightly higher than the indicated price in July, and is priced at a 21.5% premium to the closing price of the stock on Tuesday. 

DMGT stock headed 2.8% higher in late trade following the announcement. Meanwhile, Cazoo shares sank 8.5%.

The deal gives chairman Lord Rothermere, who previously owned around 30%, full control of the group.

Read more: UK services sector recovery gathers pace, but inflation looms

The group has said that an agreement has been reached with pension trustees. DMGT currently presides over Metro, The i Paper, and the New Scientist as well as the Daily Mail. 

It was reported that the main DMGT pension scheme will receive a £412m payment alongside restrictions on future debt levels and dividends. 

"We believe the terms of our offer to be fair, particularly bearing in mind not only the existing level of debt within DMGT at a time of increasingly difficult market conditions, but also the restrictions imposed on the operation of the business as part of the settlement with the pension trustees," said Lord Rothermere. 

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