It looks like the British are coming…for Yahoo. The Daily Mail, a British tabloid and newspaper dedicated primarily to celebrity news and gossip, confirmed that it has thrown its hat into the ring to bid on the assets of the U.S. digital media group.
A spokesperson for the Daily Mail & General Trust, the parent company of the Daily Mail newspaper, confirmed that the company is in early talks with a number of different parties about putting together a potential bid. The company cited the success of some of its other digital properties, such as DailyMail.com and Elite Daily, as one of the reasons it is considering a deal for Yahoo's assets. The Daily Mail acquired Elite Daily, a U.S. media company focused on Millennial readers, in 2015.
We Only Want the Media
Yahoo has seen no shortage of potential interest from bidders since soliciting interest in acquiring its assets. Around 40 different parties are reported to be interested in acquiring the business, including industry heavyweights Verizon, IAC/InterActiveCorp, Google, and CBS Corp.
Potentially, the Daily Mail could take over Yahoo’s various media properties, such as Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance, to augment its own advertising revenues while the other parts of the business could be taken over by its partners.
In February, Yahoo said that it would begin considering “strategic alternatives” for the company following its unsuccessful attempts to spin out its stake in Asian e-commerce company Alibaba Group, a move Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (pictured above) described as essential to the company’s financial well-being.
Activist investors, however, have been pushing Mayer to divvy up the Internet company’s assets for the last two years. The company has been bleeding red ink lately, recording a whopping $4.36 billion loss for 2015.
Private Equity Partners
Mayer has made some big moves to turn around the flagging business, including experimenting with original video content, such as the sitcom “Community,” to compete with other content creators like Amazon and Netflix. Earlier this year, she also said that the company would layoff 15 percent of its workforce while shuttering several units as part of a series of cost-saving measures.
Getting its hands on Yahoo’s media assets could potentially make a lot of sense for the British company, particularly given its efforts to woo more U.S. readers with its purchase of Elite Daily. The biggest issue for the Daily Mail Group would be figuring out what to do with all of Yahoo’s other assets, including the Alibaba stake.
That would be where the Daily Mail’s partners would come in. The group is reported to be in discussions with a number of private equity groups to put together a joint bid. The private equity firms could acquire Yahoo’s U.S. assets, while leaving the media and news properties to the Mail. Alternatively, the private equity partners could acquire all of Yahoo and merge its media assets into a new company, including the Daily Mail’s properties.
Image Credit: Yahoo logo and CEO Marissa Mayer photo via Yahoo.