The company that owns the Sunday Business Post newspaper is in talks with the owner of Irish Tatler about merging the glossy magazine and its sister titles into the newspaper group.
Enda O’Coineen, whose Kilcullen Kapital Partners firm bought the Post last year, confirmed it has held talks with Irish Studio, which bought Irish Tatler and five other magazine titles in 2017 from Norah Casey’s Harmonia group.
“There have been discussions on it but there is no deal yet,” said Mr O’Coineen. “We are looking at several potential acquisitions.”
Irish Studio, which is fronted by New York-based investor Liam Lynch, owns the Irish Central diaspora-focused US website. It expanded into the Irish market with its 2017 deal for the former Harmonia titles, Irish Tatler, Irish Tatler Man, U Magazine, Food & Wine, Ireland of the Welcomes, and Auto Ireland.
Irish Tatler Man and U Magazine both ceased publication in print last summer. It was announced that U Magazine would become a digital publication, but it subsequently ceased altogether. Irish Tatler, essentially the flagship title acquired from Harmonia, was recently revamped.
Irish Studio bid for the Post when the newspaper was put up for sale by its previous owner, before it was eventually acquired by Mr O’Coineen.
It was suggested by industry sources that Irish Studio's magazines may be folded into Business Post Media Group in exchange for shares in the business. Mr O'Coineen declined to comment directly on this suggestion.
“There have been various discussions. Colm O’Reilly [a partner in Kilcullen] has been handling those talks,” said Mr O’Coineen. Mr O’Reilly did not return calls for comment. Mr Lynch had not returned a request for comment prior to publication.
Mr O’Coineen said he planned to “relaunch” Business Post Media in November. He said the group was making investments in media ventures outside the newspaper publishing space.
In recent months, he appointed Richie Oakley, the former editor of the Times Ireland edition, as the new editor of the Sunday Business Post.
Clarification - 16/9/2019: This article says that Irish Studio had bid for the Sunday Business Post when it was put up for sale by its previous owner. Irish Studio has pointed out that it did not make a formal bid.