Belfast Telegraph

Trinity Mirror in talks over minority stake in Express publisher

The publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper has confirmed talks are under way to acquire a minority stake in Daily Express publisher Northern & Shell.

Trinity Mirror said on Tuesday that discussions are at an "early stage" with the group, which is owned by Richard Desmond.

"The board of Trinity Mirror plc notes the recent media speculation and confirms that it is at an early stage of discussions towards taking a minority interest in a new company comprising certain of Northern & Shell's assets.

"No offer has been made and there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," Trinity said in a statement.

It is the second time in under two years that Trinity has opened talks with Northern & Shell, which owns the Daily Express and Daily Star titles.

However, it has also been reported that any deal to acquire Mr Desmond's titles could include former News of the World editor David Montgomery.

According to Sky News, he is plotting to create a new venture with private equity players that would house the titles, in which Trinity would be a minority stakeholder.

Mr Desmond acquired the titles in 2000 for £125 million.

A tie-up between the left-leaning Mirror and the Brexit-backing Express would raise eyebrows but could make commercial sense.

The print media industry is grappling with a decline in print advertising and any combination could herald cost savings and a shared cut of a larger advertising pool.

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