MECOM, the European regional newspaper group, has turned down a takeover approach from Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Mirror titles.
The approach, which came in a telephone call from Trinity chairman Sir Ian Gibson a few weeks ago, according to Sky News, was rejected by his opposite number at Mecom.
No announcements were made to the London Stock Exchange, with both companies believing there was nothing of substance to report.
A merger between the two companies might have brought together by Mecom chief executive David Montgomery who used to head Trinity Mirror.
However, Montgomery has been fighting a rearguard action at Mecom, with a group of shareholders who own around 40 per cent of the group’s shares wanting him to quit.
Mecom has been conducting a search for a new chief executive to replace Montgomery after shareholders pressed for his departure. The search process has recently faltered, leading some to suggest that Montgomery wants to stay.
One candidate, who has had conversations with the group’s recruitment consultants, told CityA.M: “This has been the weirdest process. I would describe it as shambolic. I just did not get a good vibe about it.”