Online retail group THG in talks over deal to buy City AM

It is understood that THG is seeking to purchase the business publication in a pre-pack administration process.

Online retail group THG is in talks over a surprise deal to buy business newspaper City AM.

The London-based newspaper was put up for sale earlier this month after it was impacted significantly by the pandemic and a reduction in commuter numbers into the capital.

It is understood that THG, which owns online retail brands including MyProtein and Cult Beauty, is seeking to purchase the business in a pre-pack administration process.

THG declined to comment.

THG - founder & CEO Matthew Moulding
THG founder and chief executive officer Matthew Moulding (THG/PA)

The proposed takeover could be confirmed as soon as Wednesday afternoon, according to Sky News, which first reported the move.

It is understood that City AM and its owners have been working with advisers from corporate finance firm BDO regarding the insolvency process.

The business publication is half-owned by two Dutch private investors, while chief executive Jens Torpe and managing director Lawson Muncaster also own about a quarter.

City AM is distributed from about 400 travel hubs and commuter locations, as well as about 1,600 London offices.

The move would be widely seen as a slightly new direction for THG, which primarily runs ecommerce brands and platforms for third parties.

It is understood that any deal would secure editorial independence at City AM and secure the future of its roughly 40-strong workforce.

THG would be expected to deepen relationships between its Ingenuity ecommerce platform business and media buying agencies.

The group also holds content syndication partnerships with firms including Google and Bloomberg.

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