Interest withdrawn

National World decides against bid for Reach

No bid: the Record owner will remain independent

National World, owner of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post newspapers, has decided not to go ahead with a bid for Daily Record publisher Reach.

NW revealed that it had received financial support for a deal and said that it believes there are benefits of the two media companies combining hundreds of titles.

But “circumstances are not aligned” to proceed with an offer.

Speculation of a potential deal led NW to confirm earlier this month that it was at the early stages of exploring a possible bid for Reach whose stable of titles includes the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and a number of big city local papers. It had not approached the board.

However, Daily Business noted that the price of Reach shares barely moved, suggesting that the markets doubted that an offer would be forthcoming.

Today the board NW said it “remains confident in the company’s strategic direction and positioning as a proactive consolidator in the sector and a content driven business in its own right.

“The NW Board is continuing to pursue other paths to deliver its goals, with the objective of enhancing shareholder value and driving scale and consolidation, as it has successfully done since National World’s inception in 2019.”

David Montgomery, executive chair of NW, said: “National World has ambitious and fully fledged plans to grow our business, creatively and through acquisitions and partnerships. Our key goal is to continue to build a vibrant content business and we will do that.

“A combination with Reach could unlock very significant operational value for both companies, but not all the elements required to ensure a successful transaction were present.

“Rather than create unwanted management distractions for both companies and our respective shareholders, we have decided not to proceed with any discussions at this stage.

“We will focus on pursuing initiatives where we see clear value creation opportunities, primarily relating to content and technology-driven customer initiatives, facing the challenges with which all in the sector must contend.”

The board of Reach said it noted today’s announcement by National World ending its interest in a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the company.

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