Informal approaches made to GMG regarding possible sale of it Auto Trader subsidiary
Private equity investors are understood to have made a number of informal approaches for Trader Media Group, the Auto Trader subsidiary of Guardian Media Group.
Interest in the group was sparked last month when GMG held talks over a possible sale to co-owners, Apax Partners. By selling off its 50.1 per cent stake in Trader Media Group GMG stands to raise up to £600 million.
The Sunday Times has reported that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is interested in the Auto Trader business and the US buy-out firm is currently considering a £1.8 billion offer for the group.
Enquires to GMG regarding the sale have been confirmed, with Bauer Media being named as another possible buyer. The agreement by GMG and Apex means that each partner has the right to buy the other out should they decide to sell.
GMG's investment in Trader Media Group is designed to safeguard the group's newspaper business which remains at its core. In the year to April 2012, GMG reported a pre-tax loss of £75.6 million following £9 million profit the year before. Trader Media Group reported operating profit of £128.7 million.