Archant expansion continues with acquisition of Romsey

By Dominic Ponsford

Archant, the rapidly expanding Eastern Daily Press publisher, has made another major acquisition.

It revealed this week that its consumer magazines division, Archant Specialist, has bought Romsey Publishing.

The
Wokingham and London-based company publishes titles such as The English
Home (ABC 86,092), The English Garden (group ABC 75,433), Heritage (ABC
64,514) and non-ABC listed titles including Canal Boat , Sporting
Shooter , Air Gunner and Airgun World.

Archant said it does not intend to move the magazines, or their 70 staff, in “the immediate future”.

Archant Specialist managing director Farine Clarke said: “Archant is committed to growth through magazines.

“Having
established a clear strategy of publishing titles in niche markets
supported by positive trends, we identified Romsey as presenting a
unique opportunity.

Paper rapped for publishing map of faulty
CCTV units “We are delighted to have acquired an established and
successful portfolio of titles with such a great reputation and
potential for further growth.”

Paul Dobson, who founded Romsey
Publishing in 1984, said: “I’m very proud of all that we have achieved
with Romsey, and am pleased to be handing on the business to Archant
Specialist, who share my commitment to great magazines. I believe that
Archant will offer the magazines and the staff a fantastic opportunity
to flourish.”

Existing Archant specialist titles include Photography Monthly , Which Digital Camera , Pilot and Sport Diver .

The acquisition of Romsey will more than double the size of the division.

Norwich-based Archant has a turnover of £180 million and publishes four daily papers and 85 weekly titles.

The company has previously signalled its intention to expand rapidly.

In December 2003 it paid £62 million for 27 weekly London-based weekly newspapers owned by Independent News & Media.

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