Express Newspapers’ Desmond on the Acquisition Trail with £1bn to Spend

20 July 2001

Richard Desmond, the porn purveyor who bought Express Newspapers last year for £125 million, has secured a £1 billion line of credit from Germany’s Commerzbank – specifically for the acquisition of additional media properties.

Commerzbank clearly regards Desmond as a good bet, having already repaid over half the £97.5m he borrowed in November to buy the Express stable – the Daily Star and the Daily and Sunday Express.

Desmond claims the three titles will attract £125m in advertising this year - £10m up on the preceding twelve months. He also asserts he has rejected offers for the titles that would have netted him £100m in profit.

Why didn’t he take the money? “I am not a seller,” he proclaimed. “It has taken me from 1988 until now to get these papers. What else would I do [had he disposed of the titles]?”

News source: The Times (London)