Trinity Mirror has announced it is in talks to buy up the remaining shares of rival publisher Local World as it looks to further strengthen its hold on the regional presses.
Trinity Mirror currently owns a 20% stake in Local World and snapping up the remaining shares would cement its place as the dominant player in the regional press industry.
Local World’s annual results published in June showed pre-tax profits of £15.8m for 2014 – up from £12.7m in 2013.
A statement released by Trinity Mirror said the board “notes the recent media speculation” over the potential deal. It added that “a further announcement will be made if and when appropriate”.
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Trinity Mirror is already one of the biggest national publishing houses in the regional press. It runs regional titles in most major cities in the UK – with flagship titles the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo its most recognisable assets.
Local World owns titles in Bristol, Nottingham and Swansea along with several other UK towns.
The current deal, which was first rumoured to be discussed in May of this year, could be worth up to £200m. When Trinity Mirror first bought into Local World in 2013 it paid £1.2m for 20% of the business.
In August Trinity Mirror announced its half-year results, signalling strong growth; with digital publishing revenue up 27%. Despite this, the company’s pre-tax profits suffered a slight dip of 2.5% to £47m.
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