Former Trinity Mirror exec makes a move for Daily Mail’s regional arm

Former Mirror Group executive David Montgomery is said to be in talks with Northcliffe, the regional publishing arm of the Daily Mail, with a view to acquiring a stake in the regional publisher, following its move to acquire the newspaper assets of Yattendon.

The moves are being seen as a bid to kick start a process of consolidation in the sector and would see former Montgomery front the new consortium, with backing from private equity firms including Odey Asset management.

This will see back office costs slashed and better deals negotiated with suppliers and distributors in a bid to realise economies of scale.

The new venture will be named Local World and will be 75% owned by the three newspaper groups, although Trinity has declined to incorporate its own suite of 130 regional titles, including the Manchester Evening News, into the group at this point.

Simon Fox, Trinity’s newly appointed chief exec, is thought to have prioritised the negotiations which values Northcliffe’s 84 titles; including the Western Daily Express and the Hull Daily Mail, at £110m.

Yattendon’s 30-title suite has been valued at just below £20m with Trinity stumping up a mix of cash and equity for the businesses.

In a statement DMGT said: "In response to media speculation, DMGT confirms that it is currently in talks regarding the future of Northcliffe Media. 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."