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THG makes surprise bid for City AM

Sophie Smith
26 July 2023

THG is reportedly in advanced talks to buy London-based business newspaper City AM.

The Manchester-based company is negotiating the purchase of City AM with accountancy firm BDO, which is on standby to handle its insolvency, according to Sky News.

The deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday afternoon, but could be delayed.

Sky News said THG was expecting to pay “a small seven-figure sum” for City AM’s assets including its brand and website.

The company has also agreed to meet July's payroll obligations for the newspaper's 40 member of staff.

The acquisition of City AM would provide THG with a series of commercial opportunities for its Ingenuity clients, offering "greater access to a financially literate audience from City AM's readership".

One insider said the deal would deepen Ingenuity's relationships with media buying agencies such as GroupM and content syndication relationships with companies such as Google and Bloomberg.

THG is also planning to overhaul City AM's technology interface with readers by launching an app for the title, which is published in print four days every week.

If completed, the deal will support the expansion of THG experiences, which includes the LookFantastic Beauty awards and Ingenuity’s Future of Commerce event.

However, it is understood that City AM will operate with editorial independence.

The news follows the sale of THG's loss-making OnDemand division last week as it continues to "simplify and streamline" its core operations.

The deal sees OnDemand sold to its existing management team, funded by advisory and investment firm Gordon Brothers.

UPDATE: This deal was confirmed on 26 July. Read more here. 

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