Belfast Telegraph

Johnston Press in talks to sell 'certain titles' to Iliffe Media

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press has confirmed it is in "late stage" talks to sell "certain titles" to Iliffe Media.

It follows reports that the owner of The Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman was in negotiations with Iliffe about the possible sale of its East Anglian brands, including the Newmarket Journal and Suffolk Free Press.

In a statement, the firm said: " The board of Johnston Press notes the recent media speculation and confirms it is in late stage discussions with Iliffe Media surrounding the potential disposal of certain titles.

"The company has previously announced that as part of its portfolio review, a number of brands had been identified that were not part of its long-term future and a process has been initiated to explore the potential sale of these assets to identified parties.

"This disposal process is ongoing and a further announcement will be made when appropriate."

Last week, Johnston Press reported that total group revenues were down 5.1% year-on-year in the 17 weeks to October 29, as it continues to grapple with the tough advertising market.

However, circulation revenues rose 18.8% over the period, with the i paper increasing its slice of the quality newspaper market from 18.5% to more than a fifth.

Sales of the 50p title grew by 4.6% to an average of 290,000 copies per day in September, while the firm said overall group trading had picked up since the Brexit vote.

Media companies have been looking to offset a slide in newspaper sales by selling more adverts online.

Johnston Press acquired the i in April, when its average audited circulation was 270,182.

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