Veteran newspaper exec leads takeover plot for Richard Desmond titles

William Turvill
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Printing Press
Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell owns the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine (Source: Getty)

A former News of the World editor is spearheading a takeover plot for Richard Desmond’s newspapers and magazines.

David Montgomery, also a former Mirror Group chief executive, is seeking to drum up funds for a new media investment vehicle.

Read more: Daily Express owner mulling sale of tabloids to rival Trinity Mirror

Montgomery, who City A.M. understands is being advised by Lepe Partners, would own a stake of the new company, while Trinity Mirror would also take a minority stake.

Sky News first reported that Montgomery is in talks with financial investors including private equity outfit Towerbrook Capital Partners about backing the new venture.

Trinity Mirror, which publishes the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and a number of regional newspapers, confirmed on Tuesday morning that it was in early-stage discussions about taking a “minority interest in a new company comprising certain of Nothern & Shell’s assets”.

Read more: Sun and Times newspapers report losses as revenues are hit by ad decline

One City source said Montgomery had been “itching to do something” in recent months and another well-placed source said he had been keen to launch a new project, and had mooted a move into the local TV business.

Montgomery has been quiet in the media world since Local World, a regional newspaper group that he founded in 2012, was sold to Trinity Mirror in 2015.

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