Corporate Finance – KPMG backs the Mirror man

KPMG boosted its corporate finance profile this week when the firm emerged as one of the advisers behind David Montgomery’s bid to regain control of the Mirror Group.

With KPMG’s help, Montgomery launched a last-ditch attempt to trump the £1.6bn cash-and-paper bid which the Mirror Group agreed with regional media group Trinity.

Montgomery, who was ousted earlier this year and replaced as chief executive of the Mirror Group by accountant John Allwood, is said by City watchers to be pursuing the bid as a personal crusade.

As Accountancy Age went to press, Montgomery’s camp indicated he was poised to top Trinity’s 271.5p-a-share offer with a cash counterbid in excess of 301p per share. But a major shareholder said Montgomery’s bid was ‘unlikely to stand up financially’.

Unlike Trinity, he would not be in a position to cut costs by merging the Mirror Group’s newspapers with an existing operation. Even though the bid appears doomed, it has raised KPMG’s profile in the City.

‘They’re trying to build a corporate finance capability and it can’t hurt to be involved in such a high-profile deal,’ said one financier. ‘If they can arrange the finance for Montgomery’s bid, it would be a big feather in their cap.’

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