30 October 2000

The auction for United News & Media’s Express Newspapers [WAMN: 6-Oct-00] heated up over the weekend as rival newspaper group Daily Mail & General Trust assembled a bid said to be worth in the region of £150 million. A formal offer is expected later this week.

Hats already in the ring are those of the controversial Hinduja brothers and former Mirror Group boss David Montgomery, with both camps thought to be bidding in the region of £100m.

A successful bid by the right-wing DMGT for the mildly leftist Express stable would almost certainly raise political concerns over the distillation of media interests. That problem has been anticipated by DMGT chairman Viscount Rothermere who says he would create a separate board with direct responsibility for Express newspapers’ editorial content.

A bid would also attract the interest of the Competition Commission, the more so since both groups’ titles target the UK's "middle-brow" newspaper market.

News source: Financial Times