Norton Rose Fulbright and Ashurst lead as Trinity Mirror seals £127m deal for Daily Express owner

Norton Rose Fulbright, Rosenblatt and Ashurst are advising on Trinity Mirror’s acquisition of rival newspaper publishing group Northern & Shell for £127m.

The group, which is owned by newspaper proprietor Richard Desmond, publishes the Daily Express, Sunday ExpressDaily Star and OK! Magazine.

Norton Rose London corporate partners Chris Pearson and Claire O’Donnell are advising Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily Mirror, on the deal which was confirmed this morning (9 February) after sale talks were announced in September.

Pearson also advised the group in 2015 on its acquisition of remaining shares in regional newspaper publisher Local World for £220m. Norton Rose finance partner Michael Ings advised on the banking aspects of that deal.

Previously, he advised the group in 2007 when it sold its southeast regional newspaper business to rival Northcliffe Media for £64m.

Desmond has turned to regular adviser City firm Rosenblatt for legal advice. The firm’s relationship with Desmond dates back to 1983, and in 2004 it acted on the £20m sale of his  adult magazine portfolio.

In 2010, Rosenblatt fielded a team led by corporate partner Jon Lovitt to advise Desmond on his purchase of Channel Five for €125m (£103.5m).

Ashurst is advising Numis Securities, which is acting as a sponsor in the deal, with a team including equity capital markets head Nicholas Holmes.