Interest revs up in Trader Media Group

BUYOUT giant KKR is among the suitors for the stake in Trader Media Group, currently owned by the Guardian newspaper, according to reports.

Trader Media, which has its digital headquarters in Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, is currently 50.1% owned by Guardian Media Group – the loss-making publisher, with the remainder held by Apax Partners.

According to the Sunday Times, KKR may be mulling a bid, while Germany’s Bauer, owner of FHM magazine is also monitoring the situation.

GMG, which has not yet appointed advisers to look at a possible sale, has received some interest in its TMG stake. Under the agreement between GMG and Apax, each partner has the right to buy the other out of TMG if they decide to sell.

GMG is said to regard the stake in Trader Media Group’s as an investment designed to safeguard the core newspaper business.

The former owner of the Manchester Evening  News reported a pre-tax loss of £75.6m in the year to April 2012, from a £9m profit the year before. Trader Media Group’s operating profit before exceptional items grew to £128.7m.