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April 11, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:29am

Troubled Yahoo could be bought by Daily Mail owner

News: Internet company is under pressure to turn fortunes around.

By James Nunns

The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper has appeared as a potential buyer for Yahoo.

The Daily Mail and General Trust is said to be in talks with private equity firms about an offer for the US internet company which is coming under increasing pressure from share holders to turn itself around.

Talks are at an early stage according to a spokesman speaking to the AP news agency. While a spokesman for the Daily Mail owner said: "It has been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders."

The pressure on Yahoo has been coming from the activist hedge fund investor Starboard Value which recently called for the replacement of the entire board.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said that the potential bid could take two forms.

One form would be that a private-equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and then merge its media and news properties with the Mail’s online operations. Alternatively, the private-equity partner would acquire the core web business and the Mail would take over the news and media properties.

Another name that has appeared in connection with the acquisition of Yahoo is that of Time, which is also reported as considering a bid with a private-equity firm.

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Yahoo’s troubles have seen its CEO Marissa Mayer set about an aggressive plan to return the company to profit. This has included the announcement that it would cut 15% of its workforce and it is also exploring the sale of up to $3bn worth of patents, property and other non-core assets.

Since the end of 2014, Yahoo’s shares have fallen by about 30% as it has struggled to compete against the likes of Facebook and Google. The Mail Online, in way of contrast, is the most visited English language news website in the world.

Despite its struggles a number of companies have been linked with its acquisitions. Microsoft is one big name that had been linked earlier in the year, while Verizon Communications is another.

Yahoo has set a deadline of 18th April for any interested parties to submit their offers.


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