Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, said it was in talks to buy Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell titles, including the Daily Express and the Daily Star tabloids, as well as celebrity magazines OK!, new! and Star.
Trinity Mirror had been in talks about taking a minority stake in a new company that included the Northern & Shell titles.
“The board of Trinity Mirror notes that it is now in discussions to acquire 100 per cent of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell,” the company said on Friday.
It said there was no certainty that an agreement would be reached and any deal would need to be approved by Trinity Mirror shareholders.
A deal would unite the left-leaning Mirror with the Daily and Sunday Express, which were both cheerleaders for Brexit.
Richard Desmond established his media empire by publishing specialist magazines, including adult titles like the British edition of Penthouse. He launched celebrity title OK! in 1993.
He bought the Express titles in 2000 for £125 million. -Reuters