The Birmingham Post’s parent firm has invested £14.2 million in a new company that will create a new force in regional publishing with more than 100 titles.
Trinity Mirror, which also owns the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, will take a 20 per cent stake in Local World – a new joint venture created by the sale of the Daily Mail and General Trust’s Northcliffe Media arm for £52.5 million.
The new group - worth around £100 million - will include 16 daily titles, 36 paid weekly titles, 40 free weekly titles and two Metro newspaper franchises, including the regional newspaper assets of Iliffe News & Media, which owns the Cambridge News.
It will also publish a portfolio of 63 local websites, with a monthly audience of more than seven million.
Northcliffe boss Steve Auckland will become chief executive of Local World, with tabloid veteran David Montgomery appointed chairman.
Local World will combine some of the UK’s best-known local newspaper titles, including Northcliffe’s Leicester Mercury, Bristol Post and Derby Telegraph and Iliffe’s Hertfordshire Mercury.
It will employ more than 2,800 people, with combined operating profits of £21 million and revenues of £273 million.
Local World said it was too early to say what impact there would be on staff and Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said it would be talking to employees affected by the sale, which is expected to complete by the end of the year.
Former Mirror Group Newspapers boss Mr Montgomery said the deal "signals the fightback in Britain’s regional media industry".
The deal comes as regional newspapers are struggling amid a prolonged advertising slump, which has forced many groups to axe titles and jobs.
But Mr Montgomery said the group will be "unencumbered by the infrastructure of the industrial past such as property, printing presses and large-scale distribution or any legacy issues such as high levels of debt".
Martin Morgan, chief executive of DMGT, said: "This is good news for DMGT, for all who work at Northcliffe and for the future of local news media.
"Local World has talented people and a clear vision for the future of local media. I think the media industry has been waiting for this logical next step for regional newspapers."
DMGT will take a 38.7 per cent shareholding in the new group, while the Iliffe family, owners of Yattendon Group, will sell Iliffe News & Media to Local World in return for a 21.3 per cent stake.
Other investors will include hedge fund Odey Asset Management and Artefact Group - an investment fund associated with former Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft.
Of more than 107 print titles within Local World, DMGT will contribute more than 80 with another 36 from Iliffe.