Johnston Press to announce impairment charge on 2005 newspapers purchase

Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press is expected to announced an impairment charge of more than £100m tomorrow, reports Times Online.

Johnston will write off some 20 per cent of the £475 million worth of newspapers it bought in 2005 – including The Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and the Belfast Newsletter. This means it is effectively admitting to the stock market that they have gone down in value.

The Times tips Alan Revell, former chief operating office of Associated Northcliffe Digital, to succeed outgoing Johnston chief executive Tim Bowdler, who steps down later this year.

In May Johnston launched a £212m rights issue and brought in Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan as a board member, owner of media conglomerate Usaha Tegas.

A write-down was mooted as early as March this year when analysts warned that Johnston could be in danger of breaking its banking covenants.

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