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Yahoo Bid Hots up as Daily Mail Parent Enter Talks with Private Equity for Bid

Yahoo Bid Hots up as Daily Mail Parent Enter Talks with Private Equity for Bid
Eyeing a plan to buy the troubled U.S. Internet pioneer to help boost advertising revenues from the Mail's globally popular online news site, Britain's Daily Mail is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid for Yahoo's internet assets.
It was in early stage discussions with several parties about a possible bid for Yahoo, confirming a Wall Street Journal report it had approached private equity buyers to team up, the parent company of the British newspaper, the Daily Mail & General Trust, said on Monday.
"We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders," a spokeswoman for said in an emailed statement, while declining to name the private equity firms or give any financial details.
Celebrity-focused news websites of the right-leaning London-based Daily Mail newspaper are and MailOnline. Putting them among the world's most popular English language news sites, globally the websites attract 14 million visitors a day.
While expanding's reach and improving its digital ad revenues which for its 2015 financial year came in at 73 million pounds ($104 million), a tenth of the company's overall annual turnover, are the expected results that the proposers expect to gain from buying Yahoo's assets - which range from search and email to news, sports, photos and other properties.
Reducing its dependence on shrinking advertising sales from its newspaper business in Britain and helping it sell more U.S. advertising would be the two big positives for the British company from a possible deal with Yahoo, said Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker.
"The U.S. has been the main driver of digital growth for Daily Mail & General Trust, whilst traffic has grown well they haven't quite monetized this traffic as successfully as they would have liked," Whittaker said.
Last year the Daily Mail bought Elite Daily, a U.S. news and entertainment website in a deal which it said would make its offering to U.S.-based advertising buyers more attractive by widening its audience.
According to the WSJ report, citing people familiar with the matter, the Daily Mail & General Trust PLC's potential bid could take one of two forms. In one scenario, along with the Mail taking over the news and media properties, a private-equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business.
In the other scenario, the private-equity firm would merge its media and news properties with the Mail’s online operations after acquiring Yahoo’s core web business. The report said that under the first scenario the merged units would form a new company that would be run by the Mail and give a larger equity stake to the Mail’s parent company.
In an auction which is likely to be hotly-contested, bids for Yahoo are due on April 18.
While U.S. telecommunications giant Verizon, which owns AOL, another fallen Internet pioneer, is also eyeing a deal, Reuters reported earlier this month that Time Inc is also considering partnering with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo's core Internet assets.
Sources have told Reuters that some of the financial parties weighing bids for Yahoo's internet assets include Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co LP, TPG Capital LP, Apax Partners LLP, Warburg Pincus LLC, Bain Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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