Reach set to acquire Irish Daily Star

Reach plc, which publishes the Irish Mirror and Sunday Mirror newspapers, five websites, and a lifestyle magazine in Ireland, has secured agreement to purchase Independent News & Media’s (INM) 50% stake in Independent Star Ltd (ISL), publisher of the Irish Daily Star.

The agreement would see Reach acquire full ownership of the Irish Daily Star publisher following, and subject to, the normal competition approval processes for Irish media transactions. The acquisition is expected to complete later this year.

Staff at INM and ISL were informed last Thursday (23rd July, the same day Reach CEO Jim Mullen told staff across its three offices in Belfast, Dublin and Cork that “it is a natural next step for us to acquire the remaining 50% [of the Star].”

“Reach acquired a 50% stake in the Irish Daily Star in 2018 and we are delighted to have reached agreement with INM.  We will now engage with the relevant competition processes before planned completion later this year.”

Marc Vangeel, CEO, Independent News & Media said: “INM are proud to have been a shareholder in the Star since 1987. The Irish Daily Star is a popular title with a talented group of staff producing a compelling mix of Irish news and sport in the national newspaper tabloid market. We believe that this offer from Reach, if approved, will ensure the newspaper has a bright future within the Reach publishing group. We wish the new owners continued success with the title.”

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.

Earlier this month, Reach’s editor-in-chief in Ireland John Kierans – known in the industry as Jumbo – decided to step down after 25 years at the helm.

Announcing the news, Jumbo said: “I have now decided to step down as Editor of the Mirror in Ireland, with immediate effect. I am and always will be a Mirror man. I love the paper, our websites and the many wonderful colleagues I have had the privilege of working with over the last 25 years.”

On Jumbo’s decision to leave the company, Joanne McGreevy, who is now Marketplace Publisher at Reach commented: “Jumbo’s contribution and loyalty to the Irish Mirror and the Irish business as a whole has been incredible and it has been a privilege to work alongside a great friend and colleague.

“We must now refocus and reshape our structure and the way we operate around our customer value strategy and in the context of the new market conditions in which we are operating. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jumbo and wish him the very best of luck for the future – a future which will include a new weekly column in his beloved Mirror!”