The Irish Times has completed its acquisition of the Irish Examiner.

It has been confirmed that the Irish Times has bought Landmark Media assets which includes two newspapers - the Irish Examiner and the Evening Echo - and all the group's regional titles, its websites and its radio station interests.

It marks the end of the Crosbie family's ownership of the Irish Examiner which goes back as far as 1872.

In a statement to staff, outgoing CEO of Landmark Media, Tom Murphy, said he was delighted to announce that The Irish Times had completed the purchase.

Mr Murphy said it was an end of an era. "I would like to pay tribute to the Crosbie family, they have been fantastic supporters of the ethos, concepts and standards of quality journalism in their newspapers in Ireland. They have been a beacon to the industry, leading and setting the standards for others to follow, over that period."

The Irish Times was the company's preferred purchaser, but not its only suitor. "The reason we selected them originally was because the positioning of the core Irish Times newspaper was consistent with and complementary to the positioning of the Irish Examiner and, secondly because our experiences of dealing with them over th eyears showed them to be good people to partner with," Mr Murphy said.

The share purchase agreement between the Irish Times and Landmark was signed in December 5, and the deal was later approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Minister for Communications, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

In a statement to employees, the Irish Times said that it looks forward to working closely with all staff in the combined companies in building a successful media group.

Seamus Dooley of the NUJ welcomed today's developments, saying it is a new chapter in the history of publishing, in Cork in particular.  

Mr Dooley said staff have gone through a lot of worry and the union sees this as a positive step.

He said it is his understanding that there is no immediate threat to employment. The new owners have committed to consulting with all the trade unions and honour all agreements.