Trinity Mirror could complete purchase of Express Newspapers this week

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Trinity Mirror, the owner of the Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo, could complete its purchase of Express Newspapers publisher Northern and Shell as early as this week, according to reports.

A figure of around £130m has been suggested for the publisher of the Daily Express and Daily Star and their Sunday titles, as well as celebrity magazine OK!.

Richard Desmond, who bought Express Newspapers for £125m in 2000, would become one of Trinity Mirror's largest minority shareholders under the deal.

According to the Telegraph, Desmond would be in line to get a cash payment of £42m, £20m in Trinity Mirror shares, £60m in deferred payments between now and 2023, and £5m related to approvals by Irish regulators.

And subject to negotiations with trustees of the two groups’ pension trustees, a further £40m will go into the newspaper companies’ retirement schemes.

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A spokesman for Trinity Mirror said: “There’s still some way to go. This is not yet a done deal.”

Desmond pocketed over £300m in profit after the sale of one of his other businesses, Channel 5, to Viacom last year.

Talks of a Trinity Mirror takeover of Express Newspapers have been on and off for a number of years.

Express Newspapers has a Northern base in Broughton, near Preston, as well as its offices in London and Glasgow.

The Daily Express, which still uses the strapline 'The World's Greatest Newspaper', was once the biggest selling daily newspaper in the world with sales topping 4m in the 1950s. It now stands at around 488,000