Johnston Press titles sold to JPI Media after administrators called
Johnston Press has confirmed that the future of titles, including the i, The Scotsman, and the Yorkshire Post had been secured following a buyout by newly-formed company, JPI Media.
Johnston Press put itself up for sale last month but said that none of the offers it had received “deliver sufficient value", despite “considerable interest” from the market.
It announced plans to file for administration on Friday (16 November) in the face of debts amounting to £220m, which were due for repayment in June next year.
After appointing an administrator on Saturday (17 November), it was confirmed later that day it had been sold to JPI Media, a newly-formed holding company that is owned by some of Johnston Press' major bond holders.
Johnston Press chief executive David King is now CEO of JPI Media. King said the sale was “an important one for the Johnston Press businesses as it ensures that operations can continue as normal.”
John Ensall, director of JPI Media, added: "In the absence of another financial solution being available for the business, we are pleased to have reached this agreement to acquire Johnston Press, to protect the value of the business, preserve jobs and allow for the uninterrupted publication of its websites and newspapers."
He said that as part of the deal, it had significantly reduced debt levels and would invest £35m into the business.
But, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it has "significant concerns" over the intentions of its new owners and has called for "a commitment that this is not a transition leading to a carve-up of the group motivated by asset-stripping rather than a commitment to journalism and publishing".
Johnston Press employees will have their contracts transferred to JPI Media and salaries will be paid as normal. However, its pension scheme will not.
The NUJ is expected to meet Johnston Press management on Monday.