Scotsman publisher puts itself up for sale

Written by Tom Freeman on 11 October 2018 in News

Johnston Press puts its entire business up for sale after failing to refinance its debts

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Edinburgh-based Johnston Press has put itself up for sale after failing to refinance its debts.

The publisher of the Scotsman, the ‘i’ and the Yorkshire Post as well as nearly 200 local newspapers has around £220m in outstanding debt and made a pre-tax loss of £95m last year.

The company’s valuation is only around £3m according to the BBC.

Falling circulation and advertising revenue has hit the newspaper industry hard.

The company said in a statement: “Pursuant to this strategic review and in order to assess all strategic options to maximise value to its stakeholders, the board of Johnston Press announces today that it has decided to seek offers for the company.”

It is thought no offers have been received yet.

The firm added: "There can be no certainty that any offer will be made for Johnston Press, nor that any transaction will be executed, nor as to terms of any such offer or transaction."

Paul Wood, the managing director of the employee-owned West Highland Press, tweeted: “At £3 million, that’s almost within range of the Free Press finances, and you know what? We’d do a damn site better job of running these titles. What Johnston Press have done to their local titles is a penny-pinching, short-sighted scandal.”

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