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Johnston Press sells 13 regional titles to Iliffe Media in £17m deal

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Johnston Press chairman Ian Russell is stepping down due to 'acute illness' in the family (Johnston Press/PA)

Johnston Press chairman Ian Russell is stepping down due to 'acute illness' in the family (Johnston Press/PA)

Johnston Press chairman Ian Russell is stepping down due to 'acute illness' in the family (Johnston Press/PA)

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press is to offload 13 titles in East Anglia and the East Midlands to Iliffe Media for £17 million.

The group, which publishes the i, the Yorkshire Post and the Scotsman, said the deal is part of its strategy to focus on growth areas.

Boss Ashley Highfield said: "This disposal marks a major milestone in our divestment strategy and puts us firmly on the path of refocusing our activities on areas with the greatest growth potential.

"The disposal will also reduce our net debt whilst putting us on a stronger footing."

The titles being sold include Bury Free Press, Grantham Journal, Spalding Guardian and Stamford Mercury.

Earlier this month, Johnston said chairman Ian Russell is to step down due to an "acute illness" in the family.

Mr Russell said he would leave the role by the end of December this year, with senior independent director Camilla Rhodes taking the helm as interim chairman.

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