Founding family of UK’s Daily Mail mulls taking it private

LONDON — The founding family of Britain’s Daily Mail is considering making a bid worth 810 million pounds ($1.1 billion) to bring the parent company behind the country’s biggest-selling newspaper back into private hands after 90 years on the stock market.

The newspaper and other publications are currently part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, which has been listed on the London stock market since 1932. Jonathan Harmsworth, known as Lord Rothermere and the great-grandson of the newspaper’s founder, is already the firm’s controlling shareholder through his family trust.

The aristocrat is mulling a bid to take the company private on the condition that it sells off its insurance business and a stake in online car seller Cazoo.

Daily Mail and General Trust confirmed Monday was in talks to sell its insurance risk division following approaches from interested parties. In a statement, it said that the proposed sale could be completed in the third quarter if it goes ahead.

The group added that if conditions are met, Rothermere’s holding company Rothermere Continuation Ltd. would consider a cash offer of 251 pence per share to take the rest of the company private. That values the group at about 810 million pounds.

The news follows the Daily Mail group’s reorganization in recent years, which saw it sell its stakes in property search website Zoopla, financial information provider Euromoney, and online education business Hobsons.

The Daily Mail was first published in the 1890s and the group now owns the Mail titles as well as the Metro and i news.

Rothermere has until Aug.9 to make a formal offer under stock market rules.