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Reach in “early” sale talks with JPIMedia

Reach has confirmed it is in the “early stages” of discussions with JPIMedia to buy some of its assets.

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JPIMedia has confirmed it is in talks with Reach to sell some of its assets

In a statement, Reach says it “notes the recent media speculation and confirms that it is in the early stages of discussions in relation to acquiring certain parts of JPIMedia's assets”.

It adds: “As has been previously stated by the company, regular consideration is given to merger and acquisition opportunities which would accelerate its strategy.

“There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will lead to an agreed transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

Reach, formerly Trinity Mirror, owns national titles such as the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Daily Record amongst a number of regional titles and magazines.

The publisher posted a trading update in May 2019 for the period from December 31st, 2018 until April 28th, 2019, announcing group revenue increases of 4.4%.

… chief executive David King said the company is pursing a 'formal process to explore the sale of the business'

The company says the increase reflects “the benefit of the inclusion of the Express & Star acquisition” for four months in the current period, versus two months in the comparative period.

JPIMedia was created in November last year by the bondholders of the now-defunct Johnston Press, when it could not repay a £220m bond that was due for repayment in June.

At the time, six offers were made for all or part of the business, but they were not considered enough to cover its debts. 

JPIMedia owns more than 200 titles, including the i newspaper and The Scotsman.

JPIMedia declined to comment on any talks with Reach, but confirmed that internal comms published by Press Gazette were true.

In an email sent to JPIMedia staff, chief executive David King said the company is pursing a “formal process to explore the sale of the business,” adding: “There is no certainty that a sale will result.”

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