Guardian Media Group has reportedly ended talks to sell Trader Media Group to its joint venture partner, the private equity group Apax.
Discussion were called off after the companies failed to agree a price, according to the Financial Times (£).
It first emerged that GMG, which sold a 49.9 per cent stake in the car classifieds company to Apex in March 2007, was in talks to sell its remaining 51.1 per cent share in December. According to the FT, the deal would have netted GMG £300m in cash.
The FT reports:
The private equity group’s offer for the stake valued Trader Media at around £1.2bn including net debt of £600m, significantly less than GMG had hoped for, according to two people with knowledge of the offer.
Bankers have estimated the value of Trader Media, which has a successful online classifieds business, at up to £2bn.
The paper added that GMG’s discussions with other private equity investors over Trader Media had also come to nothing.
Guardian journalists are currently balloting for industrial action over management proposals to cut 100 editorial jobs in order achieve annual cost-savings of £7m from the editorial budget.