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Business

Daily Mail mulling takeover bid for Yahoo

The parent company of British tabloid Daily Mail has confirmed that it is in early stage discussions with a number of potential partners to launch a joint bid to acquire struggling US tech giant Yahoo.

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), the parent group behind the British newspaper, said on Monday that it was in early stage talks with several parties about a possible bid for Yahoo, confirming a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday that DMGT had approached a "wide" group of interested companies regarding a possible bid for Yahoo.

"We have been in discussions with a number of parties who are potential bidders," a spokeswoman for DailyMail.com said in an emailed statement, declining to name the private equity firms or give any financial details.

"Discussions are at a very early stage and there is no certainty that any transaction will take place," she noted. "We have no further comment at this time. Further updates will be provided as appropriate."

DailyMail.com and MailOnline are the celebrity-focused news websites of the right-leaning UK-based Daily Mail newspaper.

Globally, the websites attract 14 million visitors a day, putting them among the world's most popular English language news sites. Buying Yahoo's assets - which range from search and email to news, sports, photos and other properties - is expected to expand DailyMail.com's reach and improve its digital ad revenues.

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Yahoo for sale

A struggling giant

Yahoo has been briefing prospective buyers of its core assets, according to previous US media reports, and the Internet giant has set an April 18 deadline for preliminary bids.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who took over in 2012 with the mission of reviving the company's fortunes and arresting its decline, is in an increasingly difficult position.

Although Yahoo is one of the best-known names on the Internet and is used by around one billion people, it has fallen behind Google in Internet searches and has been steadily losing ground in online advertising.

While Mayer has injected some energy and glamour into the company, Yahoo's finances have failed to improve and its core operations are valued in the market as worthless, with the company's valuation propped up by its stakes in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.

sri/cjc (AFP, Reuters)

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