Swedbank Robur rejects Bonniers bid for Readly

Swedbank Robur, which owns 8.8 per cent of the digital newspaper and magazine subscription service, Readly, has dismissed the offer to buy the company made late last year by Swedish media company Bonnier. As part of the deal, Bonnier had entered into an agreement to divest the non-Nordic operations (including the UK) to French competitor Cafeyn upon the deal’s completion.

Despite the fact that Readlys independent bid committee had unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer, Robur has rejected it. Another shareholder, Bengtssons Tidnings, had already said last month that it did not intend to accept Bonnier News offer of SEK 12 per share, but as the largest stakeholder in Readly, Robur’s dismissal of the offer is more significant.

In a statement, Readly CEO Mats Brandt said: “Until we know the outcome of the bid we will stay dedicated to creating maximum value for all our stakeholders. The transition to becoming a profitable company is proceeding according to plan. As stated in our Q3 report, we have delivered six consecutive quarters of improved results.  We are also proud of the continued relevance we can show, with regained growth pace in Germany and the UK, lowered churn across all markets and a strong pipeline of new content, new partners and new initiatives that we will share with the market in due course. We stand by our financial targets and are in a good position to continue executing on our strategy with our cash on hand.”