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Trinity Mirror in talks to buy Express and Star titles

TMlogoTrinity Mirror has today confirmed it is in talks to buy the Daily Express and Daily Star from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.

In January, the publisher said it was discussing a partial merger with Northern & Shell which would see it take a minority stake in a new company, with back office functions shared between the two.

However TM has today confirmed that those discussions have ceased and that it is now proposing a wholesale takeover in a deal reportedly worth around £130m.

Already Britain’s biggest regional publisher with more than 100 daily and weekly titles, the purchase of the two Desmond-owned papers would represent a dramatic expansion of TM’s national portfolio.

The latest announcement came in a statement released at 7am this morning headed ‘Update on discussions with Northern & Shell.’

It read:  “Further to the announcement made on 10 January 2017 the Board of Trinity Mirror plc (“Trinity Mirror”) notes that it is now in discussions to acquire 100pc of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell and that it has ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake in a new company comprising the publishing assets of Northern & Shell.

“There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed or completed. Any acquisition would require the approval of Trinity Mirror shareholders.

“A further announcement will be made when appropriate.”

As well as the Express and Star and their Sunday stablemates, Northern & Shell also publishes celebrity news magazine OK.

The previous talks are thought to have focused on creating a combined sales operation for the Express and Mirror titles as well as merging some back office functions, with ‘National World’ slated as a possible name for the new company.

 

8 comments

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  • September 8, 2017 at 10:00 am
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    Blimey. If I was working for the Express or Star, I guess I would be feeling a little like a Polish citizen before the outbreak of war in 1939.
    I can’t see the monopolies people lying down for this.

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  • September 8, 2017 at 10:15 am
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    If it goes through we can expect job losses to help pay for it.

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  • September 8, 2017 at 10:51 am
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    A left-leaning Daily Express, hmm? Might we see chimeric headlines like these?
    “Hardest winter ever on the way – global warming to blame”
    “Brexit or bust – but transitional arrangements must be fair”
    “Princess Di was not done in by spooks – probably….”
    Any more suggestions?

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  • September 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm
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    I’d like to know why I’m told there’s no money in the kitty to pay me overtime if I work a 12-hour day, yet there’s suddenly £130 million going spare to buy the Express and Star.

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  • September 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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    I see the domain names National World .co.uk and .com are no longer available to purchase………..not that I’ve just tried to make an offer for them 😉

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  • September 8, 2017 at 5:53 pm
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    There is definitely one silver lining to this story. I noted that Trinity have cut David Montgomery out of the deal to pursue ahead with this venture on there own.

    It does give me a little smile knowing this as I predicted what happened between Illiffe/LW/Northcliffe/Trinity from day 1 of the announcement once I knew he was involved in it.

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  • September 8, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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    Ex-sports hack – I hope you take the time off in lieu. If not, your propping up your paper and working so your editor gets their budget related bonus.

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  • September 10, 2017 at 8:27 am
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    Trinity Mirror is a financially successful plc that is still generating cash and paying back Local World borrowings very quickly. It needs to do something with its money. Especially in a shrinking market.

    Acquisitions may only stave off the inevitable, but they’ll also help maintain good profits in the meantime, as the rest of the less financially successful industry slowly disappears around it.

    I don’t think there’ll be many within TM that relish the thought of acquiring these particular titles, but that’s not really the point.

    As for those suggesting the competition authorities should get involved. Sorry, but wake up and smell the very strong coffee that Facebook and Google are brewing!

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