LONDON Oct 28 The owner of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper is in talks over the future of its Northcliffe Media regional newspaper division, the group said on Sunday, following reports of a planned sale.
The Sunday Times said earlier that the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) was in negotiations to sell the local newspaper division to David Montgomery - a former chief executive of the Mirror Group of newspapers, now Trinity Mirror - in a deal that would value the titles at around 110 million pounds ($180 million).
The paper said DMGT would retain a stake in the venture, if the deal - which it said would be Montgomery's first since stepping down from European newspaper publisher Mecom last year - goes through.
"DMGT confirms that it is currently in talks regarding the future of Northcliffe Media," it said in a statement.
"No deal or transaction has been agreed, but if these talks move to the point where agreement is reached, an announcement will be made to the market."
The Financial Times said in a separate report on Sunday that Montgomery would be supported by Yattendon, the privately held media and property group which owns Iliffe News & Media, publisher of some 30 print titles.
Northcliffe Media publishes 84 newspapers across Britain, reaching 5.8 million readers. Like its rivals, it has struggled with faltering advertising spend, long-term circulation decline and online competition.