Trinity to reconsider deal with Northcliffe

New boss urged to revisit failed regional newspaper merger plan

Shareholders in Trinity Mirror will press Simon Fox, the new boss of the struggling newspaper publisher, to reignite merger talks with Northcliffe, the regional newspaper arm of Daily Mail and General Trust.

Mr Fox, who was unveiled as the successor to Sly Bailey at Trinity last week, is under pressure to devise a strategy that will grow the company's digital revenues in place of lost income from classified advertising.

The former HMV chief executive is also expected to reassess whether he should try to consolidate the regional newspaper market which is dominated by four large publishers.

Two years ago, Trinity was in talks with DMGT over a deal with Northcliffe, which would have brought together titles including Northcliffe's Leicester Mercury and Bristol Evening Post with Trinity's Liverpool Echo and Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

The all-paper transaction would have given DMGT up to 40 per cent in the enlarged Trinity. It fell apart over concerns about valuation, Trinity's pension deficit and the crystallising of a pension liability for DMGT. However, the industry has continued its decline as circulations and advertising revenues have remained under pressure and executives have warmed to the idea.

A tie-up would instantly create a local media group that covers much of the country and can sell itself as a proposition to national advertisers. There are also significant cost savings to be made.

Mr Fox joins Trinity next week, just a month after resigning from troubled HMV. Britain's last specialist music retailer has endured a torrid time as CD sales have crashed. After a string of profits warnings, Mr Fox was forced to sell off bookseller Waterstone's to keep its banks at bay and a foray into live events fared badly. HMV has struck a support deal with music groups including Universal and Sony that are keen to keep alive a high street alternative to the supermarkets.

Mr Fox replaces Ms Bailey, who was ousted in a protest over the size of her pay package earlier this year. Trinity's shares have slid by more than 90 per cent in the past five years. Despite numerous acquisitions, digital operations account for just 5 per cent of group revenues.

DMGT shelved the sale of Northcliffe six years ago when offers from private equity groups, including Providence, CVC and Candover fell short of its £1.5bn hopes. The business is now worth far less.

Viscount Rothermere, DMGT's chairman, confirmed earlier this year that he was looking again at options for the division. It has become a drag on the rest of group, which is largely focused on business information and events.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator - Old Street, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Derivatives Risk Commodities Business Analyst /Market Risk

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...

Power & Gas Business Analyst / Subject Matter Expert - Contract

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering