Claverly bids for owner of Islands' papers

Jersey Evening Post: staff ‘happy’

The parent company of the Guernsey Press & Star and the Jersey Evening Post is the subject of a £75.9m takeover bid.

Claverly, the family business which owns the Express & Star in Wolverhampton, is behind the bid. The 100 journalists working on the Channel Islands papers have been reassured that nothing will change following the expected takeover.

Guiton has owned the Channel Islands papers since the Jersey Evening Post was founded in 1890 and in 1985 the company went public with a listing on the Alternative Investment Market.

In addition to the newspaper publishing arm, Guiton runs a chain of convenience stores and an IT company called Itex.

Claverly has owned a 35 per cent stake in Guiton for more than 20 years, another 40 per cent of the company is owned by descendants of the original Guiton family and the rest is in the hands of various private shareholders.

If the deal goes through, the company will be removed from the stock market and will go back into private hands. Guiton chairman Senator Frank Walker is the only member of the original Guiton family who has maintained an executive role in the group.

He said: “We have had interest from other companies, but I know that we have found the safest pair of hands to take Guiton forward. Claverly is already a long-term partner headed by a family with a lifetime commitment to the publishing of quality local newspapers.”

Guiton chief executive John Averty said: “Journalists are quite happy and have been reassured that there’s going to be no change.

“From a personal point of view, I’m well aware of the commitment of the Claverly family to the highest quality of editorial and they are going to reinforce that within our papers.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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