The Daily Mail and General Trust PLC (LON: DMGT) is no longer listed in London. The bid from the Rothermere family interests to take the company – and the Daily Mail newspaper – private succeeded. There is still a listing for a bond issue (LON: 54HB) but that’s a very different thing, that’s not equity nor shares.
There was an amusement about DMGT, as we remarked at the time when the bid became successful. The Stock Exchange showed that upon completion of a successful cash bid the shares dropped by 75%. This really isn’t what happens when someone offers cash – real money – for a share. And of course, it wasn’t what happened either. Instead, the two classes of share – A and ordinary non-voting – collapsed down into the one class of shares as the bid succeeded. The quote thus reflected that change, not the change in actual value of either class of share.
Given that the bid has now succeeded for DMGT, and the quotation exists no longer, there will be those who are still holding shares. Perhaps long-term holders, even still with pieces of paper instead of merely an electronic record. There is thus a possible problem for those still with DMGT shares.
This can and will be managed. The first step is simply to contact your broker. They will be able to advise on what to do next. Essentially, the only choice is to accept the offer. It’s not just that no one does want to be a minority shareholder in a private entity, it’s that the bid for DMGT has succeeded well enough that they can compulsorily call in the final few outstanding shares.
If you do not currently have a broker then that will, of course, be difficult. A next step might be to become a client of a broker and present the evidence – say contract notes, even share certificates – showing that you are a DMGT holder. Any competent broker will be able to take it from there.
It is also possible to deal with the company, DMGT itself, directly. Start here, at the DMGT site (no, do not try to go through the Daily Mail! Journalists are not the people you need to be talking to), agree to the information disclaimer and then take it from there.
There is a certain amount of speed necessary here. The compulsory purchase of the outstanding shares – those minority holdings – in DMGT happens on Feb 22 2022. Yes, there will still be mopping up operations after that but it will all get very much more boring and complex.
There really are no options here. DMGT as a tradeable equity is gone, it’s a dead parrot. The only choice any shareholders have is to take the cash and redeploy it into other investments or activities.
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Tim Worstall is a freelance writer specialising in economics and the financial markets.