Archant acquires publisher of Kent on Sunday

Regional publishing group Archant has acquired KOS Media, publisher of Kent on Sunday, for an undisclosed sum.

Following a restructuring of the holding group that controls KOS Media, the business will be taken over by Archant, which previously held a “minority stake” in the company.

Archant, which already publishes a number of magazines and newspapers in Kent, revealed earlier this year that it had invested more than £500,000 over the past two years in KOS Media.

In its annual report for 2009, Archant outlined an investment of £215,000 in KOS Media in 2008 which it supplemented with an additional investment of more than £300,000 last year. Archant said today it had held a stake in the business since 2005.

Adrian Jeakings, Archant chief executive, said: “We are delighted to bring KOS Media fully into our portfolio of regional titles.

“This acquisition strengthens Archant’s existing presence in Kent and provides a springboard for further investment.

“We look forward to working with managing director Paul Stannard and his team, to develop this vibrant business.”

In addition to Kent on Sunday, KOS Media publishes a series of free weekly newspapers, magazines and digital products from its headquarters at Smeeth near Ashford.

Its magazines and supplements include the Review lifestyle, entertainment and property guide, Isle Magazine, Visit Kent and Taste of Kent.

The company, which employs 70 full-time staff, also produces YourkentTV, an internet service providing regional features, business and sport.

KOS Media launched Kent on Sunday in September 2002. Two years later it became the first free title to win newspaper of the year at the Regional Press Awards.

Then in May last year, KOS Media switched from free distribution of Kent on Sunday and sister paper Kent on Saturday to a part-paid, part-free model.

Paul Stannard said: “I am delighted Archant has taken on full ownership of KoS Media.

“We will benefit from ownership by a large, well financed, independent group with ambitious plans to grow the business.”

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