Mirror agrees to Trinity merger
Saturday 31 July 1999
It also emerged that at least one group, believed to be Northcliffe Newspapers, the regional newspaper arm of Daily Mail & General Trust, has proposed to swap British titles and cash in exchange for the Belfast Telegraph.
Trinity, which has offered a mixture of cash and stock worth about 270p for each Mirror share, is being forced by Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, to sell its four Belfast titles in order to maintain a balance of competition. Mr Byers found that the Irish News, a nationalist title, would have been threatened by the linkup of Trinity's commercially dominant Belfast operation with Mirror's national titles.
The meagre 5 per cent premium for Mirror shareholders was slightly below expectations, analysts said. But that didn't stop Phillips & Drew, Mirror's biggest shareholder, from irrevocably agreeing to sell its 14.7 per cent stake unless an offer pitched above 301p is tendered within 11 days.
Other major shareholders include Brinson Trust, Legal & General and Lazard Freres. "This is the beginning of a terrific opportunity for Trinity and Mirror," said Philip Graf, Trinity chief executive who will retain that position in the merged group. "This is the culmination of the strategic development of Trinity and Mirror."
But doubts about the financial logic of the deal saw Trinity stock ease 14.5p to 568.5p, while Mirror stock gained 5.5p to 260.5p. "Essentially Trinity are paying an element of take-over premium," said Anthony de Larrinaga, analyst with WestLB Panmure. "It's not a bad deal but Trinity are sharing more of the benefits of the deal with Mirror shareholders than their own."
Under the deal, Mirror Group shareholders will hold 51.6 per cent of the enlarged company's shares and Trinity shareholders 48.4 per cent. The merger terms are 0.325 of a new Trinity share and 82p in cash for every Mirror share.
The key jobs at the enlarged group are being more or less equally divided. Victor Blank, chairman of Mirror Group will retain that position, while John Allwood, chief executive of the tabloid publisher, will become deputy chief executive and finance director.
Michael Masters, finance director of Trinity will become managing director of Ireland, Scotland and regional newspapers. Roger Eastoe, Mirror Group managing director, will become managing director of national newspapers and the Racing Post.
Opinion is the City was split last night over whether a counter bid would emerge next week. Advisors close to both companies stressed the immediate and long-term benefits of a deal for both companies. The enlarged company would have had pro forma 1998 sales of pounds 1.03bn and would have generated operating profit of over pounds 235m once an estimated pounds 15m of post-merger savings are factored in. Group debt, prior to disposals, would be around pounds 800m giving Trinity Mirror substantial borrowing capacity to go on the acquisition trail.
Outlook, page 21
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...