MGN denies report of consortium

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The Independent Online
MIRROR Group Newspapers yesterday denied a weekend press report that David Montgomery, its chief executive, was trying to enlist several investors to buy collectively a 25 per cent stake in the company, which publishes the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.

The claim, made in the Observer newspaper, was quashed by a spokesman for MGN, who said: 'We have not been in talks with anyone to put together a consortium.'

Speculation about the consortium has been around for several months, and was originally fuelled by rumours of an imminent sale of the 54 per cent stake held in MGN by Arthur Andersen, who were appointed as the company's administrators after the death of Robert Maxwell in 1991.

The article also claimed that Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the London Evening Standard, was preparing to move into the national broadsheet newspaper market by buying a shareholding in Newspaper Publishing, owner of the Independent and the Independent on Sunday.

Andreas Whittam Smith, founder of the Independent titles, said: 'The board has received no proposal from Associated Newspapers; neither have our advisers.'