The history of DMGT goes back to two brothers in the late nineteenth century: Alfred and Harold Harmsworth. Alfred had a highly-developed intuition for what the public wanted from a newspaper; Harold had considerable skill in business matters. Between the two of them they rapidly built up a string of cheap periodicals and then newspapers – starting with the London-based Evening News, acquired in 1894, and moving on to the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, founded in 1896 and 1903 respectively. The brothers acquired The Observer in 1905 and The Times and Sunday Times three years later. This gave Alfred Harmsworth (who was made Baron Northcliffe in 1905 and Viscount Northcliffe in 1918) unprecedented control over the British press; his virulently anti-German stance preceding and during the First World War led the Germans to send a warship to shell his country home in Kent in an attempt to assassinate him. (Harold Harmsworth was likewise ennobled, as Baron Rothermere in 1914 and Viscount Rothermere in 1919.)
Daily Mail and General Trust was set up (as Daily Mail Trust Limited) in 1922 to manage Northcliffe’s business empire. In 1932 it was listed on the London Stock Exchange. It’s based in Derry Street in London’s wealthy Knightsbridge district.
In 2005 DMGT announced that it wanted to sell its regional publishing wing, Northcliffe Newspapers, which at the time held 16 per cent of the UK regional newspaper market (placing it third after Trinity Mirror and Newsquest, but ahead of Johnston Press). The offer lapsed after no offer was forthcoming for the entire group.
Northcliffe has acquired and sold several newspapers since then, including buying 26 titles from Trinity Mirror Southern in 2007 and a number of Staffordshire titles to Iliffe News & Media in 2011. However, an attempt to sell nine Kent titles to the KM Group in 2011 was blocked by the Competition Commission.
Associated Newspapers, the division of DMGT that publishes the Mail, sold a 75.1% share in the Evening Standard to Russian entrepreneur Aleksandr Lebedev in January 2009 for £1.
In November 2012 it was announced that Northcliffe Media’s UK operations would be transferred to a new consortium led by David Montgomery, Local World, in return for DMGT receiving £52.5 million and a 38.7 per cent shareholding in the new business.
- Associated Newspapers Ltd
(Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Metro)
- Daily Mail and General Trust plc
2 Derry Street
- 020 7938 6000
- 020 7938 4626