Johnston Press completes £24m purchase of i

Today sees the first edition of i published under the ownership of Johnston Press.

The regional publisher confirmed at 7am this morning that the £24m purchase from the Evgeny Lebedev had been completed.

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield (pictured) said: "This is a transformational acquisition for Johnston Press and an important step towards delivering our long-term strategy.

"i is a highly regarded newspaper with a clear market position and a loyal readership. By joining with Johnston Press the combined circulation will be equal to 9 per cent of national daily circulation, making us the fourth largest player in the market.

"This enhanced reach represents a significant growth opportunity for Johnston Press in terms of national print and advertising revenue. It also rebalances our revenues towards less volatile circulation revenues.

"With our considerable digital experience the combination of Johnston Press and i will also allow us to grow digital audiences and revenues through the creation of inews.co.uk."

The i has dedicated editorial staff of 50 and will also draw content from The Independent website and from the Johnston Press network of local newspaper journalists around the country.

In February i had a paid-for daily circulation of just over 200,000 a day with a weekday cover price of 40p. It distributed a further 66,000 bulk copies.

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