Daily Mail Eyes Yahoo Assets

Yahoo is attracting interest from the Daily Mail. A deal could help the UK media company's online efforts.

Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading

April 11, 2016

3 Min Read

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10 Top Tech Companies Poised For Massive Layoffs

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The UK-based Daily Mail media company has reportedly thrown its hat into the ring as one of the latest suitors for the assets of ailing Internet pioneer Yahoo.

DailyMail.com is primarily interested in Yahoo's news and media site, and is in preliminary talks with other investors to launch a bid, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Daily Mail and General Trust operates the Daily Mail British newspaper, tabloid websites DailyMail.com in the US and MailOnline in other parts of the world, and Gen-Y site Elite Daily. 

"Given the success of DailyMail.com and Elite Daily, we have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders. Discussions are at a very early stage, and there is no certainty that any transaction will take place. We have no further comment at this time. Further updates will be provided as appropriate," a DailyMail.com spokesperson told InformationWeek.

The UK media company is apparently interested in beefing up its online operation and increasing its presence in the US. Back in 2010 it made its MailOnline available to US readers. In 2012, it opened another headquarters in New York. Two years later, it rebranded its US website to DailyMail.com and now has 66.7 million unique visitors, according to a comScore study.

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The Daily Mail's online advertising revenues in the US jumped 38% last year. While the company gained substantial traction in securing new users in the past four years, it hasn't done so fast enough to offset a decline in its print advertising and circulation, according to the BBC.

The Daily Mail is considering one of two types of transactions, according to the Journal.

One would require teaming up with a private equity firm to acquire Yahoo's US operations. The Daily Mail would take over the Internet pioneer's core websites such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports and its video business (which has such big stars as news veteran Katie Couric), according to the Journal.

The Daily Mail is also considering a different transaction that would result in it folding its online websites the DailyMail.com and Elite Daily into a new company that would include Yahoo's media and news operations, with the Daily Mail in charge of that business, the Journal noted.

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Yahoo recently delayed the deadline to April 18 for bidders to submit an offer for some or all of its assets. The company has attracted such interest from Verizon Communications, which owns AOL; Microsoft; Time Inc.; and private equity firms TPG and KKR & Co., according to the Journal.

In addition to Verizon, Google's Alphabet is also reportedly toying with the idea of making a bid for the company. But the search giant would likely face a close review by anti-trust regulators, which previously gave the search giant grief when it attempted to do a search partnership with Yahoo in 2008. Yahoo, however, was able to move forward with that deal last year.

The Journal points to Verizon as a front-runner in the bidding process. Should the telecom giant be successful in bidding, its AOL CEO and another of its top executives would be responsible for running the combined operation.

About the Author(s)

Dawn Kawamoto

Associate Editor, Dark Reading

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's News.com, TheStreet.com, AOL's DailyFinance, and The Motley Fool. More recently, she served as associate editor for technology careers site Dice.com.

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