Trinity Mirror made a secret approach to Mecom, one of Europe’s biggest regional newspaper businesses, with an offer to merger the two companies, according to a report today.
The owner of the Daily Mirror, which is also the largest regional publisher in the UK, is reported to have gone to Mecom in November with an offer of an ‘all-share merger”, according to Sky News.
The approach was rejected by Mecom, with sources familiar with the deal telling Sky that former Mirror chief executive David Montgomery, who is now boss of Mecom, advised against the deal.
The prospect of a deal gave the intriguing prospect of Montgomery being reunited with the Mirror titles – however that prospect was always likely to be a small one as he is set to stand down from his post later this spring.
Trinity Mirror and Mecom are reported not to be in any current discussions about a deal. However, today’s revelations suggest that Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey is on the lookout for other merger opportunities.
Early last month, the Guardian reported that Trinity Mirror considered selling a number of its shares to Daily Mail & General Trust earlier last year in return for taking control of DMGT‘s regional newspapers.
That report suggested that talks were halted after negotiations had taken place over the summer but that the door remained open for further discussions.
A spokesman for Trinity Mirror told Press Gazette today the company did not comment on market speculation. Mecom has yet to return a request for comment.