Trinity Mirror abandons regional sales

UK newspaper group Trinity Mirror scrapped the planned sale of its regional titles in the Midlands after they failed to attract high enough offers.

The publisher said it had decided to retain its assets in the Midlands and the southeast, despite having outlined plans in December to sell its regional titles in the Midlands, London and the southeast, including the Birmingham Post and South London Press.

A buyout consortium that included Exponent Private Equity and Barclays Private Equity had been understood to have been prepared to back the management buyout of the Midlands titles of Trinity Mirror.

However, Trinity Mirror said in a statement: “Ultimately, it became clear that offers received for some of the group’s assets did not reflect the board’s assessment of their true value, their earnings potential or the strong positions they hold in their particular markets.”

Trinity Mirror succeeded in selling its sports division, including the Racing Post newspaper, to FL Partners for £170m (€245m), and that disposal has raised £263m, the net proceeds of which will be returned to shareholders.

The group’s sports unit business has been acquired by Stradbrook Acquisitions, a company established by the Irish investment boutique. Along with the Racing Post, the sale includes related sports newspapers and websites.

Trinity Mirror was advised by Rothschild in connection with this process.

Henry Gibbon