Independent News & Media (INM) has agreed a deal to sell its 50pc stake in the 'Irish Daily Star' to the paper's co-owner Reach plc.
The 'Irish Daily Star' has been a 50/50 joint venture between Ireland's biggest newspaper group INM and the publisher of the UK's 'Daily Star' since 1987. The paper has an all-island distribution. Reach became a 50pc owner when it bought Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell group, publisher of the UK's 'Daily Star' as well as the Express newspapers in 2018.
The agreement will now see UK stock market-listed Reach take full ownership of the 'Irish Daily Star' publisher, subject to competition approval. The acquisition is expected to complete later this year.
Reach is a major player in the UK where it emerged from the combination of the Trinity Mirror newspaper group which publishes titles including the 'Daily Mirror', with the old Northern & Shell.
In Ireland, Reach publishes the 'Mirror' newspaper and RSVP magazine.
INM, which publishes titles including the Irish Independent, 'Sunday World' and 'Belfast Telegraph' has been owned by Belgium-based Mediahuis since 2019.
INM chief executive Marc Vangeel said the sale of its 'Irish Daily Star' stake will help ensure the future of the title.
"INM are proud to have been a shareholder in the Star since 1987. The 'Irish Daily Star' is a popular title with a talented group of staff producing a compelling mix of Irish news and sport in the national newspaper tabloid market. We believe that this offer from Reach, if approved, will ensure the newspaper has a bright future within the Reach publishing group. We wish the new owners continued success with the title," he said.
Reach CEO Jim Mullen said consolidating its ownership of the Irish title was a "natural next step".
"Reach acquired a 50pc stake in the 'Irish Daily Star' in 2018 so it is a natural next step for us to acquire the remaining 50pc and we are delighted to have reached agreement with INM. We will now engage with the relevant competition processes before planned completion later this year."
Following the sale, the paper will continue to trade through Independent Star Ltd, as a subsidiary of Reach.