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U.K.’s Daily Mail Explores Bid for Yahoo Backed by Private Equity

Yahoo has set an April 18 deadline for bids.

The parent company of the Daily Mail, the British newspaper and global tabloid website, is in talks with several private-equity firms to launch a bid for Yahoo, the people said. Daily Mail & General Trust DMGT 1.31 % PLC, whose main interest is Yahoo’s news and media properties, is just one of some 40 players that have expressed interest in the Web portal.

Yahoo has held meetings with Verizon, IAC/InterActiveCorp IAC 2.32 % and CBS Corp. CBS.A 1.09 % , one of the people said. The Mail hasn’t yet met with Yahoo executives. Verizon, which owns AOL and is looking to beef up its digital media and advertising businesses further, is considered a front-runner for Yahoo, according to many executives and analysts following the sale process.

A possible bid by Daily Mail could take one of two forms, the people familiar with the matter said. In one scenario, a private-equity partner would aim to acquire the entirety of Yahoo’s U.S. operation, with the Mail taking over the news and media properties.

Those assets include verticals such as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports plus Yahoo News and a video operation whose big star is Katie Couric. Yahoo has been retrenching in those businesses—in February the company closed seven digital magazines including sites dedicated to food, parenting...