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.
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, say the publishers.
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 Buzz.ie.”
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.
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.”