Danish Freesheet War Slows 'Mr Nasty's' European Advance

14 September 2007

LONDON: David Montgomery, executive chairman of Mecom Group, is still remembered for his tempestuous tenure in the 1990s as chief executive of Mirror Group, the UK's largest newspaper publishing company.

He previously served as editor of Clan Murdoch's bestselling UK weekday and Sunday tabloids The Sun and News of the World.

These days, no longer labelled 'Mr Nasty', Montgomery is founder and executive chairman of the Mecom Group, a relatively small newspaper publishing company listed on London's Alternative Investment Market.

Founded in 2000, its acquisitive march across Europe has been impressive, building a stable of freesheets, paid-for titles and other media assets in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine.

However, Montgomery's progress this month came to a stuttering halt, tripped by a freesheet war that brought about the closure of Mecom's two Danish titles and triggered a £14.8 million ($30.06m; €21.62m) exceptional charge.

On Wednesday Mecom shares fell 4.8% to £0.80 and closed Thursday down by a further 3.1% to £0.775.

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff