Monday 10 December 2018

Trinity Mirror buys Express and Star in €144m deal

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has agreed a £126.7 million deal to buy a string of Northern & Shell titles including the Daily Express and Daily Star. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has agreed a £126.7 million deal to buy a string of Northern & Shell titles including the Daily Express and Daily Star. Yui Mok/PA Wire
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The owner of the Daily Mirror in the UK, Trinity Mirror, has agreed to pay almost £127m (€144m) in cash and shares to buy the publisher of the Daily Star and Daily Express.

The deal will mark a significant change in the UK’s media landscape. It will also draw together newspapers with diametrically opposed political views. It would also being magazines including ‘OK!’ and ‘New’ into a single publishing fold.

Trinity Mirror said it believes the acquisition will create a “business of scale to better serve our readers and advertisers”.

It added that the benefits would include improved print and digital propositions, by reducing duplication, sharing content and “widening the breadth of editorial coverage”.

Part of the deal will require competition clearance being secured in Ireland.

“The board believes the acquisition is financially compelling and will deliver attractive returns to shareholders,” it added, noting that it expects to be generating annual cost savings of £20m before tax by 2020.

The enlarged group's digital portfolio will comprise a network of publishing websites delivering 234 million monthly unique browsers (excluding apps) and 963 million monthly page views (excluding apps and galleries). More than 50pc of the audience is based in the UK.

The Daily Star and Daily Express titles are part of the Northern & Shell, the publishing empire owned by Richard Desmond and where he is chairman.

“Today's transformational transaction is a logical and natural next step in the evolution and consolidation of the media sector and will create a larger and stronger platform serving all stakeholders,” he said.

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