Johnston to buy Scotsman

by Sarah Lagan

Johnston
Press has entered an agreement to buy Scotsman Publications, publisher
of the Scotsman, the Scotland on Sunday, the Edinburgh Evening News and
the Edinburgh Herald & Post series for an estimated £160 million.

The titles have a total paid-for circulation of 840,000 and free distribution of 254,000.

Tim
Bowdler, chief executive of Johnston Press said: “Scotsman Publications
comprises one of Scotland’s highest quality newspaper portfolios and
The Scotsman and its website Scotsman.com are amongst Scotland’s best
known newspaper and internet brands. With its Scottish heritage,
Johnston Press is particularly pleased to have reached agreement to
acquire Scotsman Publications”.

Publisher of the Press Holdings
Group, The Scotsman Publications owners, Andrew Neil said: “It has been
a privilege to own and run a prestigious flagship title like The
Scotsman, along with its successful associated titles, these past 10
years. But we are delighted to have reached an agreement with Johnston
Press which not only recognises the value and improvements we have
added to the titles over the decade but secures their long-term future.
The Scotsman and its sister papers will now have the advantage of being
part of a larger Edinburgh-based group. We wish the new owners, the
newspapers and their dedicated staffs every success in the future.”

Scotsman Publications reported profit before interest and tax of £7.7m on turnover of £63.5m, with gross assets of £127.5m.

Johnston recently completed its acquisition of the Leinster Group in Ireland.

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