The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has bought the i newspaper and website from JPI Media for just under £50m.
This group made the announcement on Friday 29 November, snapping up the title that boasts approximately 170,000 newspapers each weekday. The acquisition will be reviewed by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT, said: “We are delighted to welcome the i to our stable of media brands. It is a highly respected publication with a loyal and engaged readership. We are committed to preserving its distinctive, high quality and politically independent editorial style."
The release said there are opportunities for "potential synergies in the future". It added that the i is a strong revenue generator.
Paul Zwillenberg, chief executive of DMGT, said: “The i is a strong print title and has an established reputation for quality journalism, with three quarters of revenues coming from its cover price and a quarter from advertising. Despite the structural challenges facing the industry, its revenues continue to grow which is testament to the quality of the product.”
It said it will maintain the differing tones and style of the titles, and that the editorial independences will be preserved. Down the line, it expects cost synergies around printing, production and distribution. The CMA may require the i to be “held separate” and run independently of the rest of DMGT, he admitted.
Zwillenberg: “There would be opportunities to sell advertising that reaches a larger audience, in the same way that we have benefited from combining the Metro’s and Mail’s sales operations.”
The Independent founded the I in 2010, sold it to the Johnston Press in 2016. When that group went into administration, the assets were sold to the newly formed JPI Media which has moved the newspaper onto DMGT.
The announcement cam the same morning as media rival Reach confirmed it was no longer in active talks to purchase assets from JPI Media.