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Papers on block

Scotsman owner to make new bid to sell titles

Scotsman-front-page

Newspaper revenues remain under pressure

The owner of The Scotsman is to make a renewed attempt to sell the company as pressure grows on newspaper revenues.

Prospective bidders for JPIMedia, a consortium of hedge funds, have been informed that a new sale process is expected to begin imminently.

They want a deal to be wrapped up in the next few months, according to Sky News.

The hedge funds were holders of stock in Johnston Press when it was put into administration in November 2018. The group includes 200 daily and weekly titles such as the Yorkshire Post, Falkirk Herald, Fife Free Press, Sunderland Echo and Portsmouth News.

David King, chief executive, told staff at the turn of the year that it was no longer in active sale talks following lengthy discussions with potential buyers.

Daily Mail & General Trust bought the ‘i’ newspaper in Decmber last year for £50m, doubling the price paid for it by Johnston Press in 2016.

Former Daily Mirror editor David Montgomery was among those who expressed interest in the remaining group. Current Mirror owner Reach also pulled out.

The new auction will kick off within weeks of JPIMedia’s rival Archant, publisher of The New European and London’s Ham & High Express, agreeing a rescue deal backed by the turnaround fund Rcapital.

Britain’s regional newspaper publishers continue to struggle with declining advertising revenues which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Average daily sale of The Scotsman

The average daily sale of The Scotsman for July to December 2019 was 14,417 of which just over 7,500 are bought over the counter.

The figures pre-date the lockdown which saw newspaper sales fall further and prompted some free papers such as London’s Evening Standard and City AM to suspend their print runs.

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