UK's Mirror Group Rejects £800m Bid from Mr ... Who?

01 July 2005

A little known British businessman, sole owner of a conference, training and hospitality group registered in the corporate tax haven of Bermuda, on Wednesday approached the UK's largest newspaper publisher with a £800 million ($1.81bn; €1.19bn) bid for its prime asset - the Daily Mirror.

It is understood that the offer was dismissed out of hand by Trinity Mirror - not least because the asset in question is likely to be a substantial cash generator and returned an operating profit last year of £66.4m.

[However, on a crude basis of estimating worth as a multiple of five times annual profit, the offer might have been worth a few minutes consideration.]

The rejected bidder is one Marcus Evans whose eponymous group claims to employ 2,000 people in 34 offices around the world, with annual revenues in excess of $350 million.

However, as The Times points out, such claims about staffing and revenues are impossible to verify as Evans controls the Marcus Evans Group via an offshore holding company, of which he owns the "entire issued share capital".

A Trinity Mirror spokesman was dismissive of the approach, insisting: "There are no discussions or negotiations regarding the sale of any of our national newspaper titles."

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