Daily Mail looks at buying Yahoo

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO (Getty)
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO (Getty)


That is exactly what shareholders in struggling web company Yahoo could soon be shouting.

The publishers of the UK's Daily Mail are among several companies looking at making a bid for the web company.

Yahoo is one of the world's best-known internet brands. But it has been finding it hard to attract advertisers, especially since the rise of smartphones. It has lost out in the competition for advertisers to the likes of Facebook and Google.

The Daily Mail's parent company, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), says it is exploring the possibility of making a joint bid for Yahoo Inc's internet assets.

The deal would be part of the Mail's attempt to drive up advertising revenue from its websites to counter a fall in traditional print ads.

Reuters reports that the Mail's websites attract 14 million visitors a day. That means they are among the world's most-popular English language news sites.

The company has been expanding in the United States, hiring staff and buying entertainment news site Elite Daily. It's also launching a TV show with Phil McGraw, better-known as Dr Phil.

Although its audience is growing in the United States, it needs to do more to boost its revenue in that market. The thinking is that owning a very recognisable brand like Yahoo would help it to do that.

Any deal would not include Yahoo's major asset -- its stake in Alibaba.

Back in 2005 Yahoo paid US$1 billion for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba. It sold some of its shares in 2012 for US$7.6 billion. Its remaining shares are now worth around US$30 billion.

Analysts say Yahoo's entire market value is not worth a lot more than that.

The Daily Mail's purchase of Yahoo could work in one of two ways.

A private equity partner might acquire Yahoo's core web business, leaving the Mail to take over the news and media assets.

Or the private equity firm would buy Yahoo's core web business, and merge the media and news arms with the Mail's online operations.

The Mail and its partners are by no means the only firms interested in buying Yahoo's internet assets.

Bids close next week, with Time Inc also said to be considering making a bid. It would also partner with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo's internet assets.

Reuters has reported that US telecommunications giant Verizon, which owns AOL, another former internet giant, is also eyeing a possible deal.