DMGT in £52.5m sale of local newspaper division

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THE owner of the Daily Mail yesterday agreed the sale of its local newspaper arm in a deal that will create a new force in regional publishing with more than 100 titles.

Daily Mail and General Trust is selling its Northcliffe Media arm for £52.5m to a new joint venture, called Local World, which will also combine the regional newspaper assets of Iliffe News & Media, which owns the Cambridge News.

Trinity Mirror – owner of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror – will take a 20 per cent stake in Local World for £14.2m, it was announced. The new group – worth around £100m – will include 16 daily titles, 36 paid weekly titles, 40 free weekly titles and two Metro newspaper franchises. It will also publish a portfolio of 63 local websites, with a monthly audience of more than seven million.

Northcliffe boss Steve Auckland will become chief executive of Local World, with tabloid veteran David Montgomery appointed chairman. Local World will combine local newspaper titles including Northcliffe’s Hull Daily Mail, Bristol Post, Derby Telegraph and Iliffe’s Hertfordshire Mercury.