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Reach enters talks for JPI Media asset purchase
Posted on Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:20
London-listed publisher Reach has opened discussions over a potential acquisition of certain assets belonging to multimedia player JPI Media.

The company said the talks are at an early stage and a further announcement will be made if and when it is appropriate to do so.

However, it cautioned that there is no guarantee of an agreement being reached or a deal taking place.

Reach issued the statement in response to recent media speculation, noting that it regularly considers merger and acquisition opportunities which would accelerate its strategy.

The announcement follows a Sky News report, in which the broadcaster said the prospective acquiror had submitted an indicative offer to acquire the assets in a move which would create a UK newspaper giant.

Without identifying its sources, Sky said Reach is interested in buying most of the business, which publishes the i newspaper, as well as the Yorkshire Post and Scotsman titles, among others.

A sale of the assets was first reported in May of this year, when Sky News reported that JPI Media’s owners were considering auctioning off all or part of the business.

Last week, the broadcaster named Mediahuis, Archant and the Daily Mail and General Trust as other prospective buyers.

JPI Media was previously known as Johnston Press, but changed its name after going into administration and being acquired by its creditors in November 2018.

2018 was a big year in terms of the aggregate value of deals targeting newspaper publishers, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk; the USD 10,516 million recorded represents the highest for any year since 2007 (USD 23,058 million), despite volume being at its lowest level since 2002.

A vast portion of last year’s value was attributable to a single deal as Nexstar Media Group agreed a USD 6.40 billion takeover of Tribune Media in November. This was followed by Nine Entertainment Co Holdings’ USD 1,561 million acquisition of Australia-based Fairfax Media.

© Zephus Ltd