Johnston Press, publisher of the i, The Scotsman and a host of regional titles, has been bought in a pre-pack administration deal by JPI Media, a newly-formed holding company created by the beleaguered firm’s creditors.
The newspaper group, which was crippled by debts of £220m that were due to be repaid next year, had put itself up for sale in October.
As part of the deal, which secures the jobs of over 2,000 staff, the debt burden will be slashed to £85m. The repayment date for this substantially reduced amount has also been pushed back to December 2023. Additionally, JPI Media will pump £35m into the business.
Current Johnston Press boss David King stays in charge as the new Chief Executive of JPI Media. He said the sale was “an important one for the Johnston Press businesses as it ensures that operations can continue as normal, with employees’ rights maintained, suppliers paid, and newspapers printed”.
“We will focus on ensuring the group’s titles continue to publish the high-quality journalism we are known for and which has never been more important,” he added.
John Ensall, Director of JPI Media, added: “In the absence of another financial solution being available for the business, we are pleased to have reached this agreement to acquire Johnston Press, to protect the value of the business, preserve jobs and allow for the uninterrupted publication of its websites and newspapers.”