Johnston Press in talks to sell titles to Iliffe Media

Johnston Press has confirmed late stage talks with Iliffe Media over the sale of certain titles. File picture: Alex Hewitt

Johnston Press has confirmed late stage talks with Iliffe Media over the sale of certain titles. File picture: Alex Hewitt

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Newspaper publisher Johnston Press has confirmed it is in “late stage” talks to sell “certain titles” to Iliffe Media.

It follows reports that the owner of The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post and was in negotiations with Iliffe about the possible sale of its East Anglian brands, including the Newmarket Journal and Suffolk Free Press.

Johnston Press reported a rise in circulation revenues last week thanks to the acquisition of the i paper. Picture: Alex Hewitt

Johnston Press reported a rise in circulation revenues last week thanks to the acquisition of the i paper. Picture: Alex Hewitt

In a statement, the firm said: “The board of Johnston Press notes the recent media speculation and confirms it is in late stage discussions with Iliffe Media surrounding the potential disposal of certain titles.

“The company has previously announced that as part of its portfolio review, a number of brands had been identified that were not part of its long-term future and a process has been initiated to explore the potential sale of these assets to identified parties.

“This disposal process is ongoing and a further announcement will be made when appropriate.”

READ MORE: Johnston Press sees revenues boost from i newspaper

Last week, Johnston Press reported that total group revenues were down 5.1 per cent year-on-year in the 17 weeks to October 29, as it continues to grapple with the tough advertising market.

However, circulation revenues rose 18.8 per cent over the period, with the i paper increasing its slice of the quality newspaper market from 18.5 per cent to more than a fifth.

Sales of the 50p title grew by 4.6 per cent to an average of 290,000 copies per day in September, while the firm said overall group trading had picked up since the Brexit vote.

Media companies have been looking to offset a slide in newspaper sales by selling more adverts online.

Johnston Press acquired the i in April, when its average audited circulation was 270,182.

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