UK's Guardian Media Group Fixes Emap in Its Crosswires

03 August 2007

LONDON: British publishing and radio company Guardian Media Group, which owns The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, is mulling a bid for some elements of ailing media conglomerate Emap - whose neck is currently hung with a 'For Sale' ticket.

The Daily Telegraph reports that cash-rich GMG, with £674 million ($1.37bn; €1.0bn) burning a hole in its pocket after the sale of its Trader Media unit earlier this year, is eager to cherry-pick Emap.

Says ceo Carolyn McCall: "We are not going on a spending spree, but we are actively looking at acquisitions. All our businesses are completely oriented to the UK economy and they are all advertising driven. So we would like to diversify from that core."

"We would not buy the whole of Emap," she added, "but there are parts we will certainly be looking at."

GMG's shopaholic mood is not spurred by its own fiscal performance, having earlier this week posted a fall of nearly 9% in full-year profits to £89.6m before exceptional items and tax.

And the firm's two flagship national newspapers remain awash with red ink, although they reduced operating losses before exceptionals from £19.3m to £15.9m, thanks to cost cuts, a 6% increase in display advertising revenues and a 10% rise in circulation income.

Admits McCall: "We will remain loss-making for the next two to three years but we will be reducing those losses."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff