Mobile navigation


Express & Star sold to National World

National World has announced the acquisition of daily titles The Express & Star and the Shropshire Star.

Express & Star sold to National World
David Montgomery: “These historic and premium brands will strengthen our footprint, improving our Midlands and national rankings in UK media.”

National World says the acquisition of the titles, with a combined circulation of 23,000 copies, increase National World's daily sales by around 40 per cent.

Many of National World's innovations, particularly in video, events and community media, will benefit the newly acquired titles and accelerate the development of a sustainable business model. We welcome our new colleagues, who have nurtured all the brands in The Express & Star parent company, Midland News Association Ltd, to the National World family, added the publisher.

Through its City World brands and Insider Media, National World already has a strong presence in the region and as a result of this acquisition it is expected that the National World portfolio in the region will average 20 million page views per month, making it one of the leading news publishers in the UK’s second largest media market outside London.

National World says the acquired titles include a range of paid and free weeklies, plus farming and lifestyle magazines.

The investment in acquired businesses this year has now reached £14m and National World shareholders have also invested heavily in technology, new online launches and re-equipment of staff in order to evolve and grow the company. This commitment is a reflection of the support that the company has received from our staff, particularly in adapting their talent and creativity to compete effectively in a challenging market.

As an extension to this transaction National World says it has also acquired Press Computer Systems Limited (PCS). Press Computer Systems (PCS) provides Software-as-a-Service technology solutions to publishers, enabling closer collaboration across editorial, advertising, and production processes. It is widely used in the local news publishing industry and will support National World’s transition into a fully digitised publishing operation.

Commenting, Phil Inman, CEO Claverley Group said: “The Midland News Association, including iconic Express & Star and Shropshire Star brands, has been owned and managed by the Graham family for generations. Agreeing to sell was an extremely difficult decision for the shareholders, but after careful consideration, the shareholders concluded that a larger organisation was better placed to secure the future of the business.

“The sale of the MNA will result in Claverley Group exiting from regional newspaper publishing and as such, the sale of Press Computer Systems was a logical extension to the deal for both parties.

“Claverley Group will continue to diversify its business interests and is actively looking to add further acquisitions to the five businesses bought since 2018.”

Commenting on the acquisitions, National World’s Chairman, David Montgomery, said: “These historic and premium brands will strengthen our footprint, improving our Midlands and national rankings in UK media. Our innovations in TV and video, specialist content and our move to greater automation, will enhance the future performance of these new additions to the Group.

“The greater scale will help underpin our accelerating transition to a multi-platform content business, focused on creative talent. We continue to re-train and re-equip both editorial and commercial staff to serve all platforms - print, online, TV and video, events, business information and e-commerce.”

Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.