Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell is weighing up plans to begin distributing the Daily Star in the Republic of Ireland.
If the company goes ahead with the move then the paper would be placed in direct competition with the Irish Daily Star, a paper it jointly owns with Independent News & Media (INM).
According to a report in the Irish Times, INM is opposed to the move but is ‘unable to block the English edition being printed’in the Republic.
The report said:
The talks centre around the cover price of the English edition and the colour of the masthead on the paper. The Daily Star retails at just 30 pence in Britain but the Irish edition costs â‚¬1.35. INM does not want the English edition to undercut its Irish rival.
It is understood that Express would not be able to use its traditional red masthead here. Sources indicated yesterday that consideration was being given to using a blue masthead for the UK paper.
Both editions of the Star are sold in Northern Ireland, where the Irish version has a green masthead.
INM told the Irish Times:
Express Newspapers has indicated that it wishes to print and distribute the English edition of the Daily Star product in the Republic of Ireland.
As a 50 per cent shareholder in Independent Star, which publishes the successful Irish Daily Star , IN&M has raised a number of issues of concern with [Northern & Shell subsidiary] Express Newspapers. We have a successful partnership with Express Newspapers and discussions with them continue.
Last month the circulation of the Irish Daily Star stood at 84,138 copies a day, including 7,449 in the North.