Daily Mail enters the race to buy Friends Reunited

LONDON – The Daily Mail & General Trust and Trinity Mirror are taking on the financial muscle of Rupert Murdoch after entering bids for the Friends Reunited website, which is likely to fetch over £100m.

Weekend reports claimed the two newspaper groups had made bids, joining News Corporation and internet companies Yahoo! and eBay on the reported longlist. The deadline for offers is at the end of this week.

Trinity Mirror's interest was reported by the Mail on Sunday the day after DMGT's interest was reported by The Times. Its bid follows a number of recent internet acquisitions including HotGroup, Financial Jobs Online and smartnewhomes.com all in last three months.

DMGT has also been on the acquisition trail. It recently snapped up two recruitment websites, Top-Consultant.com and Officerecruit.co.uk.

Friends Reunited has a total of 1.1m paying customers for its range of services including its main UK site and similar sites in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, family tree research service Genes Reunited and its recently acquired classified site Top Dog Jobs.

It is targeting 2005 profits of over £6.5m on sales of over £11m.

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