Reading Chronicle publisher in management buyout

Dunfermline Press, the publisher of more than 20 local newspaper including the Reading Chronicle and Greenock Telegraph, has been taken over in a management buyout.

Dunfermline Press was taken over by Dunfermline Press managing director Graham Morrison, finance director Graham Faulds and non-executive chair John Allwood after the company was placed into receivership last week.

The management buyout team has a 10 per cent stake in the company – but the remaining 90 per cent is owned by Lloyds bank after the bank agreed to write off debts reported to total more than £25m.

The new company, which is called Romanes Media Group (RMS), has taken over all Dunfermline Press subsidiaries including the Clyde and Forth Press – publisher of the Greenock Telegraph – the Dunbartonshire-based Your Radio and several newspaper titles in Berkshire including the Reading Chronicle.

Other titles in its portfolio include the Dunfermline Press, Bracknell News, Carrick Herald, Helensburgh Advertiser and Slough & Langley Observer. RMS said the sale provided a ‘platform from which the business can continue to develop under the experienced existing management team”.

The sale to RMS took place following the appointment of receivers Bruce Cartwright and Mathew Hammond of PwC to the holding company of Dunfermline Press.

RMS said the appointment ensured the ‘orderly transfer of the business’and that ‘all trade suppliers will continue to be paid in the normal manner”.

In a joint statement Allwood, Morrison and Faulds said: ‘Having worked within the business for a number of years we are delighted to be able to participate fully in the future development of this business. We believe this is the start of a new chapter in the strategic development of Dunfermline Press.”

Cartwright added: ‘This is a business that has continued to perform during difficult trading conditions. The restructuring of the holding company, supported by such an experienced management team, is an extremely positive step for the business, its employees, its customers and all its associated suppliers.”

  • To contact the Press Gazette newsdesk call 020 7936 6433 or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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