Exclusive: Tabloid Backers Mull AIM Float
The founders of a new Sunday tabloid newspaper are considering listing the nascent venture on London's junior AIM stock market as they attempt to raise millions of pounds to fund its launch.
I understand that Phoenix Newspaper Publishing, which has been in discussions with potential investors for several months, are examining the move to pay for the purchase of an acquisition vehicle.
Phoenix has appointed WH Ireland, the stockbroker, and Dean Street Advisers, an independent advisory firm, to lead the negotiations over the fundraising.
The preferred option is to secure the money through a private placement of shares in Phoenix with high net worth individuals, with a stock market listing viewed as a possible alternative, people close to the situation say.
The News on Sunday, for which Phoenix is attempting to raise around £10m, will aim to fill the gap in Britain's tabloid newspaper market left by last year's closure of the News of the World. It would have a seven-day digital operation but print only on Sundays.
The venture's founders had initially targeted an August launch date in time for the new Premier League football season. I understand, however, that they now believe there are alternative windows within which a launch would allow them to build a large immediate circulation.
Phoenix is headed by Rupert Howell, a former ITV executive, and Sue Douglas, a former editor of the Sunday Express.
The company said: "The [fundraising] process is well underway and all parties are confident of a successful outcome."