Case studies

Hold the front page: Trinity Mirror snaps up local titles

Reporting accountants during acquisition of Local World Holdings - one of the largest regional newspaper publishers

Trinity Mirror plc is the largest newspaper publisher in the UK and publishes some of the nation’s favourite national and local newspaper titles including the Mirror, the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo. The newspaper industry is undergoing significant structural change, as rapid developments in technology change the way in which we consume news and commentary, pressuring businesses to innovate and deliver cost savings. The industry has been consolidating for several years and scale is absolutely critical for the survival and success of publishing businesses.

In November 2015 Trinity Mirror acquired Local World, one of the largest regional newspaper publishers in the UK for an enterprise value of £220 million, cementing its position as the UK’s biggest newspaper publisher with over 150 national and local newspaper titles and over 100 websites.

Our financial advisory and audit teams performed the role of reporting accountants during this acquisition, supporting the publication of a Class 1 circular - an explanatory document issued to shareholders during a transaction that must be formally approved by the UK Listing Authority (UKLA). We added significant value and support, providing advice on the latest listed company transaction requirements and advised the client on ensuring an efficient and effective process to support the completion of the Local World deal. In particular, our advice helped Trinity Mirror resolve a complex issue with the UKLA regarding how historical financial information would be presented in the circular to shareholders.

This was a complicated transaction with a class 1 circular, equity and debt raisings, as well as multiple sellers. The timetable set was also very tight with just six weeks to complete it all. All deadlines and my expectations were met. Overall a strong performance and a high level of service provided.

Philip Brown, Deputy CFO of Trinity Mirror

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