The owner of the Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers is in talks with Northern & Shell owner Richard Desmond to buy the Daily Express and Daily Star.
Trinity Mirror said it has “ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake” and is instead in talks to buy the publisher, which also includes the Sunday Express and the celebrity OK! magazine.
It is the second time in less than two years the group has opened talks with Northern & Shell.
“Further to the announcement made on 10 January 2017, the board of Trinity Mirror notes that it is now in discussions to acquire 100% of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell and that it has ceased discussions to acquire a minority stake,” the group said on Friday.
It added: “Any acquistion would require the approval of Trinity Mirror shareholders.”
It is unclear how much the deal could be worth, although Mr Desmond acquired the titles in 2000 for £125m.
It means an earlier mooted takeover involving former News of the World editor David Montgomery, which Sky News revealed in May, is likely to have fallen through.
Mr Montgomery had been planning to create a new venture with private equity firms that would house the Northern & Shell titles, in which Trinity would have been a minority stakeholder.