Daily Mail & General Trust Plc, the publisher of Britain’s second-biggest U.K. daily newspaper, said a trust for the Rothermere family agreed to raise its voting stake to 89.2 percent from 59.9 percent.
The voting shares are rarely traded by the family on the stock market. Rothermere Continuation Ltd. will buy the shareholding of the Esmond Harmsworth 1998 Settlement in the ordinary voting shares, Daily Mail said in a statement today. Daily Mail’s independent directors have also received an approach from Rothermere about a possible offer for the remaining ordinary voting shares, the publisher said.
Rothermere Continuation is owned by a trust for Daily Mail Chairman Viscount Rothermere and his immediate family. The Daily Mail newspaper was started in 1896 by Harold Harmsworth, who was the first Viscount Rothermere, and his brother Alfred, according to the London-based company’s website. It had a circulation of about 1.8 million in May.
The Esmond Harmsworth 1998 Settlement’s ordinary voting stock will be exchanged for Class A ordinary non-voting shares owned by Rothermere at a ratio of 112.5 Class A shares for every 100 ordinary voting shares. Any Rothermere offer for the remaining voting stock would be on the same terms, according to the statement.
Discussions between Rothermere and the independent directors are at an early stage and there is no certainty that an offer will be made, the company said.
Daily Mail Class A shares rose as much as 2.4 percent and were up 0.8 percent at 776 pence at 10:35 a.m. in London.