Is Indian media group Bennett, Coleman & Co, owner of Times of India newspaper, eyeing another cheap UK acquisition? The shares of British media group Trinity Mirror rose more than 5 percent on Thursday on market rumours that the Indian media giant is looking to bid for the UK company whose market cap had dipped from $2.8 billion last year to $300 million now.
Trinity Mirror's share prices had almost doubled in the last fortnight from 54.75 pence on July 15 to 92.25 on July 24. There is no confirmation from either companies that a deal is in the offing. Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) publishes papers like Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror. According to Independent, BCCL is in talks with some large shareholders of Trinity Mirror to pick up their stakes before launching a formal offer.
Bennett, Coleman & Co publishes Times of India and The Economic Times, besides it owns TV, radio and magazine ventures. Only recently, the group bought out Virgin Radio from Scottish media company SMG for 53.2 million ($105.2 million).
Trinity Mirror plc is one of the UK's largest newspaper publishers, with a portfolio of more than 350 media brands including: five National newspapers, over 150 regional newspapers, and 200-plus websites. The group employs over 9,000 people in more than 150 centres across the UK, including nine major printing sites, its website said.
Trinity Mirror is reportedly going through certain pension fund deficit problems, and as a result, the company's share prices had taken a knock. Trinity Mirror has pension liabilities of 1.53 billion, while it had a 125 million pension deficit at the end of 2007, which is expected to go up this year. Its market capitalisation has declined from 1.4 billion a year ago to 150 million last week (about $300 million).
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