Reach plc receives clearance to acquire Irish Daily Star

Reach plc has been granted regulatory clearance for its acquisition of the Irish Daily Star with the deal set to complete as early as Monday next week.

Reach originally acquired a 50% stake in the title in September 2018 when it acquired the news publishing assets of Northern and Shell Ltd. The joint venture partner, Independent News and Media, owned the remaining 50% share. In July of this year, Reach secured an agreement with Independent News and Media to acquire their 50% stake, with the agreement subject to regulatory approvals.

Reach has now secured clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht and will work with Independent News and Media on a transition plan for the paper and its websites over the coming weeks.

Reach is already the largest national and regional news publisher in the UK, with influential and iconic brands such as the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Sunday People, Daily Record, Daily Star, OK! and market-leading regional titles including the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, and Bristol Post. It operates a network of over 70 websites providing 24/7 coverage of news, sport, and showbiz stories, with an audience of 41.9 million unique visitors per month (Comscore September 2020).

The acquisition cements Reach’s place as one of the biggest publishers of national and regional news brands in Ireland with an existing portfolio that includes the Northern Irish and Irish editions of the Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers, the Sunday People newspaper, RSVP magazine, and five news sites that reached a record total online audience of 23.5 million users last month.

Commenting on the approval for the acquisition to proceed, Reach plc Chief Executive Officer Jim Mullen said: “We are pleased to have secured regulatory clearance and look forward to building on the success of the Irish Daily Star and”

Marc Vangeel, CEO of Independent News & Media, commented: “We welcome the successful conclusion of the regulatory process, and we are pleased that the parties can now move forward towards completion. We will work with Reach to ensure a smooth transition, and we are confident that the Irish Daily Star has a bright future ahead within the Reach portfolio.”

The Irish Daily Star Newspaper will continue to trade through Independent Star Ltd, as a subsidiary of Reach plc, the largest publisher of both national and regional news titles in the UK and Ireland.

Reach plc Marketplace Publisher for Ireland, Joanne McGreevy commented: “We look forward to welcoming The Irish Star team to the Reach family and are really excited about adding the brand to our expanding portfolio.

“Even though we are a leading digital publisher, combining The Star with the Irish Daily Mirror now gives us huge scale in the Irish popular morning print market which will be really attractive to advertisers.”