Media deal

National World adds 10 titles to regional group

Insider Media titles joins National World

National World, publisher of The Scotsman and the Falkirk Herald, has strengthened its regional media portfolio with the acquisition of 10 further titles – including a 165-year-old weekly newspaper.

The group, chaired by former News of the World editor David Montgomery, has acquired regional business-to-business specialist Insider Media for an undisclosed sum.

Insider launched in 2005 and publishes business magazines in six English regions. It also runs business events across the country, with 93 planned for this year. It is unrelated to the Scottish Business Insider which is owned by the Daily Record publisher Reach and closed its magazine last year.

It will be run as a separate division of National World with Mike Hartley, formerly MD of Insider Media, leading the integration as interim MD supported by Vairi Smith on events, Claire Jackson on HR, Sheree Manning on finance and former Daily Record executive Mark Hollinshead as an executive director.

In a separate deal, it has also snapped up the Rotherham Advertiser from Regional Media, owned by former Garnett Dickinson CEO Nick Alexander. 

The Advertiser, which has been published since 1858, includes its free sister weeklies the Dearne Valley Weekender and the Rotherham Record, as well as bi-monthly lifestyle magazine Chase.

They will now be managed by National World’s Yorkshire business unit, which is also responsible for nearby titles including the Sheffield Star and Doncaster Free Press.

National World said that for the remaining eight months of this year post-acquisition, it expected the Insider Media brands to achieve sales of £5.6m and EBITDA of £1m prior to exceptionals. 

Insider Media majority shareholder Marlen Roberts, who is retiring, said: “The current shareholders wanted to ensure that the company had a strong future and National World is a buyer that will continue to invest in high-quality content as well as the business infrastructure and the people”. 

In its most recent accounts, for the year ending 31 December 2022, Insider Media had sales of £6.3m and made an operating profit of £635,000.

The acquisitions were funded from National World’s own cash resources. The £84m turnover group has also made the final deferred payment of £2.5m for the 2021 purchase of JPI Media Group since its financial year-end, and said it still has “in excess of £20m” of cash in the bank. 

Mr Montgomery, a former CEO of the Mirror Group, commented: “Over the last 12 months we have made a number of targeted investments and acquisitions designed to accelerate our progress, increase our capabilities and grow the audience for our high-quality content.”

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