Trinity Mirror, which already owns 20pc of Local World, is said to be in negotiations to take full control of the David Montgomery-run group.
The claims were reported today by Press Gazette and attributed to a “well-placed industry source.”
The source is reported to have told the website that Trinity was prioritising the potential purchase of Local World ahead of any deal for Richard Desmond’s Express Group titles.
The Press Gazette story claims that TM has held talks with Mr Montgomery and other LW shareholders DMGT, which owns a 38.7pc stake in the business, and Yattendon, which owns a 21.3pc share.
However it goes on to say that it is unclear whether these stakeholders would be prepared to sell their stakes in the business, now valued at over £100m.
As reported by HTFP earlier this month, Trinity Mirror has already recouped its £14.2m investment in Local World with its 20pc share generating profits in excess of £15m over the past two years.
In its annual results published on 2 March, TM revealed that its share of LW’s profits in 2014 was £5.2m.
The report said: “The group has now received dividends in excess of the £14.2 million invested in Local World.”
A takeover of Local World by Trinity Mirror would make the newly-merged group the dominant player in UK regional media, with a publishing footprint covering 15 of the top 25 centres of population in England and Wales.
Trinity Mirror already owns the main daily newspaper titles in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Coventry and Newcastle. Control of Local World would enable it to add Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester, Hull, Plymouth, Stoke, Derby and Swansea to that list.