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Belfast Telegraph owner adds seven Irish regional papers to its portfolio

By Donal O'Donovan

Belfast Telegraph publisher Independent News & Media (INM) has agreed a deal to buy Irish newspaper publisher Celtic Media Group (CMG) - adding seven newspapers to its chain of regional titles.

Celtic Media's printing business is not part of the transaction.

The deal will see INM add seven regional newspapers including the Anglo Celt in Cavan, the Meath Chronicle and the Connacht Tribune.

Celtic Media Group is owned and managed by its Irish management team - following a management buyout in June 2012 for a reported €5.5m (£4.6m).

Celtic Media employs around 100 staff. The deal adds five new counties to INM Group's spread of regional newspapers.

INM's existing regional newspapers include The Herald in Dublin, The Kerryman, The Sligo Champion and Wexford People.

INM chief executive Robert Pitt said: "We are very pleased Celtic Media Group's publishing titles are becoming part of INM's portfolio of regional and digital titles.

"There are clear synergies arising from this transaction, which fit well with INM's strategy to remain as a key player in the delivery of printed news content on a national and regional basis.

"We look forward to welcoming the titles into the INM fold and to working with management and editorial to ensure the continued successful delivery of quality local newspapers."

Mr Pitt has previously said consolidation was needed in the Irish print sector to secure the viability of newspapers amid falling circulation and a challenging advertising environment.

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