LONDON Jan 24 The publisher of Britain's
Guardian and Observer newspapers has ended talks on selling its
stake in Trader Media Group because the price offered fell short
of expectations, the Financial Times said on Thursday.
Trader Media Group, which owns the Auto Trader classified
cars sales website and magazine, is a joint venture between
Guardian Media Group (GMG) and private venture company Apax, and
its profits help offset operating losses at GMG's newspapers.
The Financial Times, citing two people with knowledge of the
offer, said Apax had been interested in buying GMG's 50.1
percent stake at a price that valued the group at about 1.2
billion pounds ($1.9 billion), including net debt of 600 million
That fell short of GMG's expectations, it said.
GMG's talks with other private equity investors have also
ended, the FT said. Groups including Hellman & Friedman and KKR
have been reportedly been interested.
A spokesman for GMG declined to comment. Apax officials were
not available for comment.