National World shelves Reach ambitions

Jo Francis
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

National World will not pursue its potential offer for fellow news group Reach.

Montgomery: not all the elements required for a successful transaction were present
Montgomery: not all the elements required for a successful transaction were present

Earlier this month National World had said that it was in the early stages of exploring a possible offer for Reach, but it had not approached the Reach board about it. 

Today (23 November), National World issued the following statement: “Following further work with its advisers, National World has concluded that while there are considerable industrial and financial advantages to combining the newspaper portfolios of the two companies the circumstances are not aligned to proceed any further with the possible offer. This is despite National World having received in principle financial support from within the investment community to fund a potential deal.”

It said it was confident in its strategic direction. 

Executive Chairman David Montgomery, commented: "National World has ambitious and fully fledged plans to grow our business, creatively and through acquisitions and partnerships. Our key goal is to continue to build a vibrant content business and we will do that.

"A combination with Reach could unlock very significant operational value for both companies, but not all the elements required to ensure a successful transaction were present.

"Rather than create unwanted management distractions for both companies and our respective shareholders, we have decided not to proceed with any discussions at this stage.”

He said National World would “focus on pursuing initiatives where we see clear value creation opportunities, primarily relating to content and technology-driven customer initiatives, facing the challenges with which all in the sector must contend”.

Reach issued a brief statement that said: "The board of Reach notes today's announcement by National World ending its interest in a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the Company."

Shares in £615.8m turnover Reach slipped by 4.8% on the news to 105.20p. National World’s share price was down 2.11% to 19.33p. It had sales of £86m last year. 

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