Daily Mail in ‘early stage’ talks with potential Yahoo bidders

The publisher of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper is interested in buying Yahoo’s media and news properties and is in talks to join with potential bidders who would carve up the US Internet company.

Daily Mail in ‘early stage’ talks with potential Yahoo bidders

“Discussions are at a very early stage,” a representative for the Daily Mail said yesterday.

“There is no certainty that any transaction will take place.”

Yahoo has its European head offices in Dublin.

The Daily Mail has spoken with a half-dozen US-based private-equity firms and a bid would only be made in conjunction with a partner, said the source.

The Mail could take over Yahoo’s media and news properties while its partner buys the web business, they said.

“Alternatively, a buyer could unite the paper’s online operation with Yahoo’s media assets in a separate company. Yahoo’s market value is about ten times that of the Mail.

Yahoo’s media assets would augment Daily Mail’s growing online presence in the US by adding some of country’s biggest news, weather and messaging portals.

The US site, www.DailyMail.com has gained ground since starting in 2012 by focusing on celebrity news and younger readers.

It and www.MailOnline.com in the UK are among the most-read news sites in English.

While ComScore Inc. ranked Yahoo sites third among US visitors in January with 205 million, Mail had 75 million unique visitors and placed 33rd.

Yahoo said it would explore strategic alternatives, including selling its main internet operations, earlier this year after scrapping a long-time plan to spin off its valuable Asian assets.

The company’s stock has declined about 20% in the past 12 months as turnaround efforts led by chief executive officer Marissa Mayer stalled and sales have sagged, leaving Yahoo vulnerable to activist investors.

Verizon Communications plans to make a first-round bid for Yahoo’s web business on April 18 and is willing to acquire the company’s Yahoo Japan stake to help sweeten the offer.

Google, the main division of Alphabet, is also considering bidding for Yahoo’s core business, another source said.

The Mail formed a marketing agency last year with Snapchat and WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, and bought the Elite Daily web site, a news platform geared toward so-called millennials.

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