Outlook: Gotcha! Rupert bags Kelvin

KELVIN MACKENZIE must have been dissappointed with stock market reaction to his abrupt departure from Mirror Group as deputy chief executive. The share price barely moved in response to this tragic loss. What? The newspaper industry's greatest living talent signs off and the City doesn't bat an eyelid? The Mirror share price may be more buoyed by bid hopes right now than any fundamental appraisal of the company's prospects going forward, but even so this really is a bit of an insult, isn't it?

Axel Springer, the German newspaper group which has been contemplating an offer for Mirror, is desperately trying to make as much out of Kelvin's resignation as it can. Plainly this affects any valuation put on the group, its emissaries are quoted as saying. Talents like this are in short supply and Mirror Group is unlikely to get another. All to no avail. The share price sticks stoically in the mid-230s.

Axel none the less raises an interesting question - the extent to which valuations depend on the talents of one individual. Rupert Murdoch has been so rattled by recent improvements in the Mirror Group titles that, according to some accounts, he would have done almost anything to prise Mr MacKenzie away. The title of editor in chief of News International's Sun and News of the World were his for the taking. Mr Murdoch would have backed Kelvin in a flight to the moon if that had been his price for leaving. As it is, News has only had to help finance his bid for Talk Radio. Cheap at the price, it might be said.

So does his departure matter? It is the mark of a stable and professionally run company that it should be able to cope with the loss of senior executives without strain or disruption. In the creative industries it might be a bit different. Good editors can plainly make a real difference to circulation and hence the commercial prospects of their organisations, and although Mr MacKenzie was not technically an editor at Mirror Group, he has certainly been behaving like one. Even so, if Mirror Group is as good a company as its chief executive, David Montgomery, insists, it shouldn't be unduly affected by Mr MacKenzie's decision to abandon ship.

But the proof of this will be in the pudding. Axel Springer is not minded to bid any more than the present market price. That's why every time a cloud passes over Canary Wharf, the Germans claim another 10p has been knocked off Mirror's value. The onus is now firmly on Mr Montgomery to demonstrate his company is worth more. The cleanest way to do this would be through a leveraged buyout bid. But don't hold your breath. He's unlikely seriously to test the market's appetite for this until he sees the colour of Axel's money.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own