Johnston Press in talks to sell off Irish newspapers

Johnston Press is trying to dispose of its Irish newspapers. According to the Sunday Times in Ireland, the company "is in advanced talks" to sell its 12 Irish titles to the British advertising executive Malcolm Denmark.The indebted publisher paid about £115m in 2005 to acquire the stable of regional and local papers that includes the Limerick Leader, Donegal Democrat and Kilkenny People.But the story suggests Johnston would be prepared to accept just £10m from Denmark, who has set up a new company, Iconic Newspapers, to effect the takeover.His main firm, Mediaforce, is an agency that places advertisements and inserts in newspapers and magazines in Ireland and Britain. That almost certainly means his deal would require approval from Ireland's competition watchdog.Denmark would have to convince the authority (and rival publishers) that there would not be a conflict of interest between the advertising and publishing divisions.Johnston has slimmed down its Irish business in recent years in the face of ever-declining profits. Last year it closed the Offaly Express in Tullamore, having previously sold off the Tallaght Echo. The sell-off should be seen in the context of the strategy being pursued by Johnston's chief executive, Ashley Highfield, who is trying to ease the burden of the company's £300m debt pile. However, it appears that Johnston's newspapers in Northern Ireland, such as the Derry Journal and the Ballymena Times, are not included in the sale talks with Denmark.... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2013-12-02 00:00:00 UTC ]
News tagged with: #ballymena times #derry journal #ashley highfield #previously sold

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