Daily Mail UK Ponders Yahoo Bid, Could Spell The End For Local Seven West Media Venture

Daily Mail UK Ponders Yahoo Bid, Could Spell The End For Local Seven West Media Venture
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Britain’s Daily Mail is currently in talks with possible partners to launch a bid to buyout Yahoo’s internet assets, with the goal to snag the troubled US company in order to boost ad sales from the Mail’s news site.

Buying Yahoo’s assets, which extend to include search, news, email, sports, photos and other properties, would take DailyMail.com’s reach further and improve its digital ad revenues, which in the 2015 financial year came in at $AU136.70 million.

“We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders,” a spokeswoman for DailyMail.com said in an emailed statement, opting not to name the private equity firms or give any financial details of the deal.

Reports are now swirling, however, that the buyout could have implications for the US internet pioneer’s local joint venture with Seven West Media.

According to The Australian, some Seven execs feel that the decision by Yahoo’s US office to sell off its core internet business could also present the opportunity to exit the joint venture by buying out the other partner.

The Aussie market is a unique one for Yahoo, because under current arrangements, Seven is entitled to 50 per cent of Yahoo7’s profits. The commercial network is also eligible for royalty paychecks from products like the online TV catch-up service Plus7.

Industry rumours suggest Seven has long been waiting to exit the joint venture and steal back advertising sales for key properties, which can be seen with moves like the Australian Open app 7 Tennis and magazines published by Pacific Magazines, including Women’s Health and InStyle, internal executives say they’re loyal to the business and aren’t going anywhere.

Seven’s executives remain firm in the belief that having a mix of local and international partnerships is crucial in order to compete with the likes of Google, Facebook and YouTube, as more ad spend sneaks away from local and heads to global firms instead.

Per Yahoo’s website, Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said a deal with Yahoo would be positive for the Daily Mail, aiding it to sell more US advertising and reduce its dependence on the British market.

“The US has been the main driver of digital growth for Daily Mail & General Trust, whilst traffic has grown well they haven’t quite monetised this traffic as successfully as they would have liked,” Whittaker said.

Bids for Yahoo are due on April 18, resulting in an auction that is likely to be an interesting one to watch.

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