Trinity Mirror buys Daily Express and Daily Star titles in £126m deal

Johnathan Prynn
Trinity Mirror has bought the Daily Star and Daily Express in a £126m deal: Getty Images

The publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper has snapped up the Daily Express and a string of other titles in a £126.7 million deal.

The purchase brings together two dailies that were once among the biggest selling in the world but have seen huge declines in circulation over recent decades.

As well as the Daily and Sunday Express titles, Trinity Mirror will also take control of the Daily Star, the Daily Star Sunday, celebrity magazines New! and Star, and a 50 per cent share of the Irish Daily Star.

However, the deal will raise fears of a further wave of redundancies as the new owner of the Express seeks to cut costs.

Trinity Mirror is buying the stable of publications from newspaper tycoon Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, which acquired the Express titles in 2000 for £125 million.

Trinity Mirror will stump up an initial payment of £47.7 million, followed by £59 million between 2020 and 2023 and a further £20 million by issuing 25.8 million shares to Northern & Shell priced at 10p each.

It will also shift £41.2 million to the Northern & Shell pension scheme and make further payments of £29.2 million as part of the scheme’s recovery plan.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: “This deal is a really exciting moment in Trinity Mirror’s history, combining some of the most iconic titles in the UK media industry.

“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.”

Mr Desmond, said: “The Express newspapers and our celebrity magazine titles have been a key part of the Northern & 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.

“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.

“In Trinity Mirror we have a great partner, who will be an excellent steward of the business going forward, and I am delighted to be able to retain an ongoing interest in the combined group.”