Listed UK media group Trinity Mirror is believed to have expressed an interest in acquiring the Sunday Business Post newspaper, which has been put up for sale by its Irish owner, Key Capital.
The British company previously owned the Dublin-based title, selling it in 2002 for €10 million to Cork media group Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), having bought it for €7 million in 1997 from its management team.
As revealed by The Irish Times earlier this week, the Sunday Business Post newspaper and its associated printing business, Cork-based Webprint, have been placed on the blocks, with BDO Corporate Finance advising on the process.
Colin Morgan, the chief executive of Key Capital, confirmed that this "may include a sale of all or part of the business".
Key Capital said it received an approach for Sunrise Holdings, the holding company for the newspaper and printing businesses, that prompted it to appoint advisers to assess its potential exit from the business.
Sunrise comprises the Sunday Business Post and the trading business of Webprint, which prints the newspaper and also has about 40 other printing contracts, including for several regional newspaper titles. The Sunday Business Post employs about 50 staff, with a further 25 employed at Webprint.
Trinity failed to respond to a request for a comment by the time of publication.
The UK company has also been linked with a bid for TCH, publisher of the Irish Examiner newspaper and other titles, which is also up for sale. The Irish Times, publisher of this newspaper, has also been linked with a deal for TCH.
Trinity Mirror already owns a broad range of newspaper titles in the UK, some of which are available in Ireland. Its titles include the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, the Daily Record in Scotland and the Sunday People.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it was in "discussions to acquire 100 per cent of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell", which publishes the Star and Express newspapers.
In Ireland, the Irish Daily Star is a 50-50 joint venture between Northern & Shell, which is controlled by Richard Desmond, and Independent News & Media.