(Corrects designation in paragraph 4 to chairman, from CEO)
June 30 European newspaper publisher Mecom Group
Plc said it had reached an agreement to sell itself to
Belgium-based media group De Persgroep NV for 196 million pounds
Mecom shareholders will receive 155 pence per share in cash,
representing a premium of 35 percent to the stock's closing
price on Friday.
Shares in Mecom rose as much as 34 percent to 153.5 pence in
early trading, making them the top percentage gainers on the
London Stock Exchange.
"The transaction marks the successful culmination of the
strategic refocussing of the Mecom group over the past two
years," Mecom Chairman Rory Macnamara said in a statement.
Mecom, which publishes regional newspapers such as De
Gelderlander and De Stentor in the Netherlands and Berlingske
and BT in Denmark, has been cutting costs to stem a decline in
The company said in April that Dutch advertising revenue
fell 20 percent in the first quarter, while advertising revenue
in Denmark fell 38 percent.
De Persgroep said the deal would be funded through a
combination of existing cash and a new debt facility provided by
BNP Paribas Fortis S.A./N.V.
Rothschild and BNP Paribas advised De Persgroep on the deal,
while Gleacher Shacklock and Canaccord Genuity were the advisers
($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by