Belfast Telegraph publisher Independent News & Media (INM) has agreed a deal to sell its 50% stake in the Irish Daily Star to 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 50% 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 plc take full ownership of the Irish Daily Star publisher, subject to competition approval and 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.
INM has been owned by Belgium headquartered Mediahuis since 2019. INM also publishes the Sunday Life.
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," he said.
"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.”
Following the sale, the Irish Daily Star will continue to trade through Independent Star Ltd, as a subsidiary of Reach PLC.
Reach CEO Jim Mullen said consolidating its ownership of the Irish title was a “natural next step”.
“Reach acquired a 50% stake in The Irish Daily Star in 2018 so it is a natural next step for us to acquire the remaining 50% 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," he said.