Reach confirms early talks for JPI asset acquisition

Reach confirms its in the running for JPI assets

News brand stable Reach has officially joined the race to acquire JPI Media assets.

Both brands have been reinvented in recent years, Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, is eyeing up the assets of JPI Media, previously Johnston Press.

Johnston Press filed for administration last year, after failing to find a buyer for its assets, which include The i newspaper, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post.

Newly formed company JPI Media bought up the assets in November 2018, with an aim to stablise and sell the company to recoup value for creditors.

Reach is touted to be building a UK media powerhouse that would expand its audience with the national title The i, and The Scotsman having established a very clear roadmap of buying up legacy news titles, best illustrated with 2018's Express and Star acquisitions.

Responding to media speculation about this latest deal, Reach confirmed that it is in the "early stages of discussion" to acquire "certain assets".

Reach chief executive Simon Fuller, issued the statement which read: "Regular consideration is given to merger and acquisition opportunities which would accelerate [Reach's] strategy. There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will lead to an agreed transaction."

According to SimilarWeb data, The Scotsman.com boasts 6.4m monthly visits. It boasts around 2.3m uniques. The Yorkshire post sees a cool million a month on average, half of which are uniques. In comparison, Mirror.co.uk sees 70m monthlies, 26m of whom are unique.

Earlier this year, The Drum talked to Daily Mirror editor Alison Phillips about how the title is returning to its campaigning roots to build new audiences.

Andrew Tenzer, director of group insight for Reach, recently wrote in The Drum that local news brands are still the best way to build community and that the "context collapse" from the scale and anonymity of social media is no replacement.

The analyst also caused waves in the marketing world recently by releasing research underlining political biases and a lack of empathy of professionals in the industry.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.