Guardian Media Sells Remaining 50.1% in Trader Media to Apax

Guardian Media Group Plc, publisher of the U.K.’s Guardian and Observer newspapers, agreed to sell its 50.1 percent stake in auto-classifieds listing business to private equity firm Apax Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The sale comes after Apax bought 49.9 percent of Trader Media Group in 2007, the companies said in a statement today. Trader Media runs the Auto Trader website and magazine.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, comes after closely held GMG returned to full-year profit as a focus on revenue from digital operations helped counter falling newspaper circulation. The company’s profile has been lifted in recent months by coverage of U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden and intelligence leaks.

“Once completed, this deal will make GMG a very well-capitalized media organization with the financial flexibility to navigate the rapidly-changing media environment,” GMG Board chairman Neil Berkett said in the statement.

Apax was advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Allen & Overy LLP. GMG was advised by Bank of America Corp. and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Schweizer in London at kschweizer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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