Daily and Sunday Sport publisher up for sale

The Daily and Sunday Sport newspaper are up for sale again – 18 months after they were bought in a deal worth £50m.

Sport Media Group revealed after its annual general meeting earlier today that: “Following a number of unsolicited approaches, the board is exploring all opportunities to sell the business, in part or whole.

It added: “There can be no certainty that any sale of the business will proceed or that an offer will be made for the company or as to the terms on which any such offer might be made.

“As a result of this announcement the company is now in an offer period under the rules of the Takeover Code.”

On 7 January, Sport Media Group, which also owns Front magazine, revealed that it had been given two months by its bank to reorganise its finances after it breached one of its lending agreements.

It said today: “The group continues to have constructive discussions with its bankers and the board remains optimistic that an extension to facilities can be achieved.”

Mobile video company Interactive World merged with Sport Newspapers in September 2007 to form Sport Media Group.

Last month the company reported a pre-tax loss of £18.2m in the year ending 31 July 2008 – down from a £5.3m profit in the previous year.

An £18.4m writedown to the £50m purchase price due to deteriorating conditions in the tabloid market contributed to the loss.

Group turnover in the year to July 2008 rose from £11.4m to £29.4m as a result of the acquisition of the Sport titles and Flip Media, publisher of lads’ mag Front, in April 2008.

About two thirds of the revenue, £20.1m, came from circulation and advertising at the Sport titles.

The remainder, about £9.2m, came from adult material distributed via the internet and mobiles.

In January, the Sunday Sport sold 70,796 copies a week, down 18.91 per cent year on year. The Daily Sport sold 72,592 – down 28.59 per cent.

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