The Daily Mail and General Trust, the publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, is considering an acquisition of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, according to reports. It is not clear what stage the discussions are have reached.
The future of the Independent News & Media titles have long been in question, with the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures revealing big drops at both titles.
In the six months to September, The Independent on Sunday plummeted by 9.5% to 202,094 year on year, while it also fell 7.24% month on month. Its weekday edition also fell 4.3% to 233,555 year on year, and similarly fell 4% month on month.
Last month, Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien increased his stake in the publishing company to 26.1%, which now gives him increased power in the company.
O’Brien, who earlier this year was labelled a “dissident shareholder” by the group, has called the for the loss making newspapers to be sold. He is the second largest shareholder in the company, after chief executive, sir Anthony O’Reilly, who recently increased his stake to 28%.
An Independent News & Media spokeswoman says it “categorically denies” it is in talks with DMGT.