Barclay brothers may bid for Mirror titles

THE BARCLAY brothers, the owners of the Scotsman and Sunday Business, are considering a bid for the Mirror Group's national newspaper titles following the departure yesterday of David Montgomery as chief executive.

Mirror Group shares rose as Mr Montgomery's removal heightened expectations of an auction for the company, which could result in it being broken up. He has been replaced as chief executive by John Allwood, formerly chief executive of Mirror group's regional titles and Scottish interests.

The secretive and super-rich Barclay twins, David and Frederick, are thought to be interested only in the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People titles. They would almost certainly be prevented anyway from buying Mirror Group's Scottish titles, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, because of their ownership of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.

Trinity, the regional newspaper group which broke off renewed merger talks with Mirror Group two weeks ago, said it was watching events as they unfold. A spokesman added that it was now time to "let the dust settle" and allow Mirror Group shareholders to decide what they wanted to do.

Trinity had proposed an all-share merger valuing Mirror Group shares at 165p. This offer was subsequently trumped by a 200p-a-share cash offer from Regional Independent Media, backed by the venture capitalists Candover, valuing Mirror Group at pounds 913m.

The RIM offer was rejected by the Mirror board, although it said it was prepared to enter further discussions with the group, which is chaired by Sir Norman Fowler, the former Conservative Party chairman.

A takeover by either Trinity or RIM, publisher of the Yorkshire Post, could play into the hands of the Barclays since the two regional newspaper groups are thought to be interested primarily in the Mirror Group's regional titles, which include the Birmingham Post.

However, the Barclays could face competition from the German publishing group Axel Springer, whose stable includes the German tabloid daily Bild.

Springer, which is led by the former News International executive Gus Fischer, made an approach worth 240p a share last summer but those talks also broke down.

Another possible bidder is Hearst Corporation, the US magazine company, which has financial backing from the venture capital group Compass Partners. It had made contact with Mr Montgomery but made no formal offer.

Meanwhile Mr Allwood stressed yesterday that he was not in any hurry to sell the company. He said that it was now time for a "period of reflection" while he assessed the strategy of the group. The new chief executive has pledged to report back to shareholders when the Mirror Group reports its full-year results in March.

Mr Allwood stressed yesterday that the group possessed good brands with rising circulations that amounted to a strong business going forward.

After the high drama of the last fortnight, Mr Montgomery's departure was a subdued affair. There was no boardroom vote and it took the Mirror board just 15 minutes to agree compensation terms and accept his resignation.

He will receive a severance package worth more than pounds 1m, including share option entitlements.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
people
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices