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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006, 16:33 GMT
Daily Mail keeps regional papers
Man reading Daily Mail newspaper

Publisher Daily Mail & General Trust will not sell its Northcliffe regional newspaper business after it failed to get acceptable offers.

It received three bids for Northcliffe, and offers for parts of the firm, but said that they did not "fully reflect the long-term value of the business".

Northcliffe titles include the Nottingham Evening Post, Essex Chronicle and Aberdeen Citizen.

Press reports had earlier reported that the firm may be sold for up to 1.5bn.

Regional UK newspaper groups are facing difficult times as they fight over a limited pool of advertising revenues, and readership figures dwindle.

Daily Mail & General Trust, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, said that the offers "reflected the recent downturn in trading in the regional newspaper sector caused by the weakening of the broader UK economy".

However, the company said that Northcliffe "has valuable long term franchises which will continue to play a vital role in their local communities".

Investors reacted badly to the news, and Daily Mail & General Trust shares tumbled 11% to 66.50 pence during morning trading in London on Friday.

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