Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver, the editors of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror were secretly planning to buy out the Trinity Mirror Group before they were sacked this week, the Daily Telegraph has claimed.
The Telegraph says Wallace and Weaver were "plotting to take over the listed company, with potential backing from a wealthy figure."
It adds: "They wanted to break up the group and sell off its 130 regional newspapers, including the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News, leaving them in control of the more profitable national titles.
"It is unknown whether the pair intended to hang on to Trinity’s Scottish national titles, The Daily Record and The Sunday Mail. The plans are understood to have been at an early stage.
"Mr Wallace and Ms Weaver would have found it hard to secure enough funding to take over the newspaper group while still working there, sources said. It is thought it might actually be easier for the pair to mount a bid for Trinity now that they are outside the company, which had a £230m pension deficit at the end of last year."