UK publisher Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily Mirror national newspaper as well as over 200 regional newspapers, has purchased the publishing assets of Northern & Shell, which include two other national daily news titles and several magazines.
The acquisition, which will cost £126.7m, will boost Trinity Mirror's national daily print readership well over 1m, and provide it with substantial digital assets to strengthen its online and mobile presence, which it has been investing in heavily over the past few years.
Sale talks between the two publishers were announced in September 2017, with rumours of an acquisition circulating for long before that. The Express titles, comprising of the Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday equivalents, were acquired by Northern & Shell, chaired by Richard Desmond, back in 2000 for £125m, and also include three celebrity magazines, OK!, New! and Star.
"This deal is a really exciting moment in Trinity Mirror's history, combining some of the most iconic titles in the UK media industry," said Simon Fox, chief executive for Trinity Mirror. "It is good for our readers, good for our customers and good for our shareholders. Northern & Shell's titles have a large and loyal readership, a growing digital presence and a stable revenue mix, and offer an excellent fit with Trinity Mirror."
"The Express Newspapers and our celebrity magazine titles have been a key part of the Norther & Shell portfolio for many years, and I am immensely proud of building them into one of the largest newspaper and magazine groups in the UK," said Desmond. "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."