Serving Dunbartonshire over three centuries – The Lennox Herald, its 18 Church Street offices and editorial staff who served the newspaper in the past.
Hold the Front Page, the newspaper trade journal, is reporting that National World has announced it is exploring an audacious bid to take over fellow regional news publisher Reach plc.
The group has confirmed it is looking at “a possible offer” for Reach and now has until the start of December to make a firm bid for the group.
National World, which was founded as an investment vehicle in 2020 before taking over the old JPIMedia group, says it has not yet approached the board of directors of Reach regarding any potential deal.
National World is valued at around £50 million while Reach, with whom Lennox Herald journalists recently had a pay dispute, has a market value around six times that amount.
In a statement, National World said: “The board of National World plc notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential transaction involving Reach plc.
“National World confirms that it is at the early stages of exploring a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Reach.
“National World has not yet approached the board of directors of Reach with regard to the possible offer.”
The announcement went on to note an offer period has now commenced in accordance with the rules of the Takeover Code.
Reach issued a statement saying: “The board of Reach notes the announcement by National World that it is considering a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the company. The board of Reach confirms that it has not received an approach from National World.
“The board will issue a further statement if and when appropriate. In the meantime, Reach shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.”
National World executive chairman David Montgomery, pictured, has repeatedly stated the group’s intention to pursue acquisitions since the company’s takeover of JPIMedia at the start of last year.
Mr Montgomery previously spearheaded the purchase of Northcliffe Media by Local World, a consortium of regional newspaper publishers and investors, before the company was sold to Reach forerunner Trinity Mirror in 2015.
In recent months, National World has shifted its focus to bigger cities already served by Reach after launching rival online titles under its ‘World’ brand in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.
A restructure announced in June saw the group redeploy some journalists to bigger cities such as Glasgow, with roles being made redundant in other areas.
Reach has also launched a series of online-only titles under its ‘Live’ brand covering areas in which National World previously operated established print titles, including Edinburgh, Hampshire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Sunderland and Yorkshire.
As a result there is now considerable digital overlap between the two groups in many of the UK’s larger urban centres.
- The Dumbarton Democrat is a FREE to access digital news and features platform an d is owned and edited in West Dunbartonshire by Bill Heaney, an award-winning journalist who has been in the newspaper trade at national and local level for more than half a century.