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Belfast Telegraph sale goes ahead

Development of the Belfast Telegraph titles is on the agenda after clearance was given for Independent News & Media to buy the group from Trinity Mirror.

The purchase has been approved by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers.

It means the business can become part of Independent News & Media (UK) based in London, with existing management continuing to be responsible for day-to-day running of the business.

INM (UK) chief executive officer Brendan Hopkins said: “We are delighted to have secured the BTNL business and its great titles including the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday Life.

“The acquisition enables INM to own the leading metropolitan newspaper group in the Northern Ireland market and will be earnings enhancing in the present financial year.

“We look forward to meeting all of the staff and sharing with them our exciting plans for the future development of this unique franchise in a fast growing dynamic region.”

Independent News & Media successfully bid for the Belfast Telegraph titles in March. The sale was triggered by Trinity’s purchase of the Mirror group last year.

Clearance of the deal by the Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Tanaiste Mary Harney TD, had already been received.

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