Media group Johnston Press has agreed a £17 million deal to sell a raft of titles in East Anglia and the East Midlands.
The agreement will see Iliffe Media acquire the newspapers and associated websites of the Bury Free Press, the Local (Bourne), Diss Express, Fenland Citizen, Lincolnshire Free Press, Grantham Journal, Haverhill Echo, Lynn News, Newmarket Journal, Rutland Times, Suffolk Free Press, Spalding Guardian and Stamford Mercury.
Johnston Press, owner of The Scotsman and i newspapers, confirmed last month that it was in “late stage” talks over a possible deal with Iliffe as it seeks to focus on “core titles in selected geographic markets with a view to reducing net debt”.
Chief executive Ashley Highfield said today: “This disposal marks a major milestone in our divestment strategy and puts us firmly on the path of refocusing our activities on areas with the greatest growth potential. The disposal will also reduce our net debt whilst putting us on a stronger footing.
“I would like to thank the staff based at these titles for their hard work and loyalty over the years and we wish them well for a successful future.”
The sale, which is subject to shareholder approval, is expected to go through next month.