Independent News and Media (INM) has confirmed that it has received an approach about a potential take-over offer from an unnamed party.
Shares in the publisher jumped by almost 28% on Wednesday after it confirmed the news.
In a statement, the INM board said it “notes the recent press speculation” surrounding the potential takeover, and confirmed that it has “received an approach in relation to a possible offer for the company.”
“Discussions are at a preliminary stage and there is no certainty that any offer will be made, or as to the terms of any such offer,” it said.
It said shareholders will be kept informed of any relevant developments.
It comes as INM chief executive Michael Doorly reportedly told Dublin investors that the publisher may end up being sold.
Earlier this month, the company reported a drop in profits and revenues for the end of the year to December 2018.
Announcing the figures, Mr Doorly said the company was considering a subscription model to monetise its digital content.
The company is the subject of investigations into alleged data breaches and corporate governance issues.
INM said a further announcement on the potential takeover will be made in due course.
The group publishes the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Herald, Sunday World, the Belfast Telegraph and others - as well as several weekly regional newspapers.