Sly Bailey has an added incentive to revive the fortunes of British newspaper giant Trinity Mirror – venture capitalists are waiting to pounce if she doesn’t.

One private equity house in particular is stalking the firm: Candover. This company – it has only now been revealed – made a bid for the group’s national titles after Bailey was installed as chief executive at the start of the year.

Britain's biggest newspaper publisher, TM is an amalgam of a huge regional business and a group of national publications, including flagship tabloid The Mirror.

The company’s recent underperformance has triggered calls to spin off one or other of the businesses, but Bailey resisted such demands when unveiling a sweeping reorganisation designed to make the group “more than the sum of the parts” [WAMN: 01-Aug-03].

Candover is a longtime suitor of TM – last year it unsuccessfully bid for the entire group in conjunction with Apax Partners [WAMN: 03-Feb-03].

The venture capitalist’s latest approach – the size of which is not known – was rejected by Bailey and chairman Sir Victor Blank. But Candover reportedly remains interested in buying either part or all of Trinity Mirror should Bailey’s plans fail.

The news coincides with reports that the TM ceo met with Independent News & Media owner Sir Anthony O’Reilly over the weekend. Rumour has it that topics of conversation may have included the sale of TM’s Northern Irish titles and possibly the disposal of its Scottish paper the Daily Record.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff