The publisher of the Manchester Evening News Trinity Mirror has struck a deal to snap up national newspaper titles the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday and three celebrity magazines OK!, New! and Star.
The £126m deal for the string of Northern & Shell titles will the Group told its shareholders, improve its print and digital editorial propositions by reducing duplication, sharing content and widening the breadth of editorial coverage with larger combined teams as well as providing advertisers and agencies with a large, high quality audience, including a combined digital audience of 234 million monthly unique browsers.
Trinity Mirror will also make a one-off £41.2m payment into the Northern & Shell pension scheme, then a further £29.2m through to 2027.
Northern & Shell is owned by Richard Desmond, who acquired the Express titles in 2000 for £125m.
Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror chief executive, 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.