The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced today it had unconditionally approved the already completed joint venture between Daily Mail and General Trust plc (LON:DMGT), Trinity Mirror Plc (LON:TNI), the Iliffe family and other investors.
The particular transaction, which was closed in January, saw Daily Mail transfer its regional newspaper arm Northcliffe Media to the new holding company, called Local World, in exchange for GBP52.5m (USD80m/EUR61m) in cash plus a 38.7% stake in the venture. Furthermore, the Iliffe family, owners of Yattendon Group Plc, took a 21.3% interest in the JV in return for its Iliffe News & Media business. The newly-established media company is also 20%-owned by Trinity Mirror, while other investors such as the Artefact Group and Odey Asset Management hold the rest of the shares.
Following a careful review, the OFT has determined that the combination of the Northcliffe and Iliffe activities would not lead to a rise in prices or reductions in choice or quality for readers and advertisers, it said.
The resulting business comprises more than 180 local and regional newspapers and 60 websites between them.