Bullivant's 'genuine bemusement' at Trinity Mirror newspaper closures

Independent newspaper publisher Chris Bullivant has attempted to prove he was serious about buying a series of weekly newspapers from Trinity Mirror by allowing the publication of a series of confidential emails he sent to the regional publishing giant.

Last week Press Gazette revealed how Bullivant felt he could have helped save a number of the nine papers earmarked for closure by Trinity Mirror, had it sold them to him.

The suggestion brought a stormy response from Trinity Mirror.

Today MediaGuardian.co.uk published emails Bullivant sent to Trinity Mirror director of corporate development, Phil Machray, about his interest in the titles.

In one email Bullivant suggests his company has secured a line of finance of up to £400,000 “for this or and/or other potential acquisitions and are genuinely interested in purchasing some or all of your titles”.

What appeared to be the biggest bone of contention between the two was over Bullivant’s apparent failure to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which would have allowed access to sensitive financial records.

However, the first email, dated 17 July, suggests how the board of Bullivant Media ‘may be unable to meet until late next week which may delay our response to the questions you ask.”

The second email, dated 23 July, was sent by Bullivant to registering his ‘genuine bemusement’at statements appearing in some of the papers he was interested in buying saying they would close.

Bullivant goes on to say that the closures left him with the opinion that ‘there was never a chance of your board realistically contemplating a sale to me.”

However, the responses from Trinity Mirror are not included, so it is impossible to make a complete assessment of the correspondence and any response to the points Bullivant raises.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman told Press Gazette this afternoon: “The key point, despite Mr Bullivant’s protestations, is that he never made an offer for these newspapers.”

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