DMGT in talks to sell regional papers

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) has confirmed it is in talks over the future of Northcliffe Media after speculation it would sell off its local newspaper division.

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) has confirmed it is in talks over the future of Northcliffe Media after speculation it would sell off its local newspaper division.

Reports suggest DGMT is discussing the sale with Trinity Mirror, in a deal that would see Northcliffe's 84 titles sold to a new firm that is backed by private equity.

The new firm would also buy family-owned regional newspaper and property group, Yattendon, which has 30 titles.

The new venture, called Local World, would be 75%-owned by the three newspaper groups The three newspaper groups will own 75pc of the new venture, in "broadly equal shares".

However, it is not thought to include the sale of any of Trinity Mirror's local stable.

"No deal or transaction has been agreed, but if these talks move to the point where agreement is reached, an announcement will be made to the market," DMGT's statement said.

The Daily Telegraph reported the deal was expected to value Northcliffe, whose titles include the Western Daily Press, Leicester Mercury and Hull Daily Mail, at around £110m.

Yattendon's newspaper business would get a £20m price tag, both payable in a mix of cash and equity in the new business, the newspaper said.

The local newspaper industry has been hit hard as advertisers move online and readers turn to the internet for news.

Last year, a review by Ernst & Young showed that Northcliffe had lost 90% of its value in less than five years, dropping from £1.5bn to just £150m.

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