Regional newspaper publisher JPI Media has been bought for £10.2m by National World, a media takeover vehicle led by industry veteran David Montgomery.
JPI Media, previously known as Johnston Press, is the UK’s third largest local news publisher.
Its titles include The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post, Belfast News Letter, Sheffield Star, Portsmouth News and Lancashire Evening Post.
The takeover is expected to complete on Saturday.
In 2005, The Scotsman newspaper and other titles, including the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday, were bought by Johnston Press in a deal worth £160m.
Stock market float
In a statement, National World said the JPI acquisition would provide a platform for it to “implement its strategy of creating a sustainable local online news publishing model”.
JPI is estimated to have posted £85m in revenues and £6m in earnings for the past year.
The regional newspaper group has been seeking a buyer since 2018 and sold The i newspaper to Daily Mail owner DMGT last year for almost £50m.
Mr Montgomery, a former chief executive of the Mirror Group and News of the World editor, has targeted a deal for JPI since National World was launched with a stock market float last year.
National World said it had funded the deal from its cash resources and by issuing £8.4m in loan notes.
It added that it planned to issue further loan notes during January.
‘Historic publishing brands’
Mr Montgomery, who chairs National World, said: “JPI’s historic publishing brands represent the best in journalism and have reliably served their communities and supported local businesses, in some cases for centuries, and never more than in the last year.
“National World will uphold this tradition and implement modern technology to grow the business across a wider footprint based on high quality, unique content.”
National World states on its website that its objective is “to create a modern platform for news publishing by implementing a new operating model, powered by the latest technology”.
It adds: “National World will jettison legacy systems and archaic industrial practices to create efficient dissemination of news, monetising it by matching content to audience.”
Top picture: The press bench at Celtic Park will look like this today for the game against Rangers.