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One of these days, Guardian Media Group hopes to sell Trader Media Group and Emap, both of which it jointly owns with Apax, to reap a windfall to swell cash reserves.
But is Trader Media Group too big to sell… ?
Interviewing GMG CEO Andrew Miller, The Financial Times says: “He acknowledged that an initial public offering was a likely scenario as it would allow Apax to remain invested and was potentially easier than a trade sale.” Miller told the paper: “There are no plans to exit now … An IPO is definitely an option of interest given the scale of asset.”
Last month, Emap’s CEO resigned, saying the publisher had now set a five-year strategy because “recession has extended the likely period of private equity ownership for the business”. But TMG’s sale is “widely expected to be within the next 18 months”, the FT reckons. IPO prospects have returned as institutional investor fortunes have looked up.
Over those same five years, Guardian News & Media plans to save £25 million from print operations as it slims its daily newspaper and becomes “digital-first“.
By the time it exits from TMG and Emap, GNM will need to show signs of a real functioning digital business model that can operate at international scale. “Both of those (selling Emap and TMG) will not solve our problems unless we reduce the level of losses at Guardian News & Media,” Miller told the FT.
There is not yet any detail to follow GNM’s announcement last week, but execution will involve job losses and retraining.
Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.