Tuesday 9 February 2010

Guardian Media Group MEN sale to Trinity shows how mighty regionals have fallen

The deal by Guardian Media Group to sell the Manchester Evening News and 31 other regional titles to Trinity Mirror in a deal worth £44.8 million shows how far the value of regional newspapers have fallen.
According to Media Guardian, the deal is worth £44.8m to Guardian Media Group, with £7.4m in cash and Trinity Mirror releasing GMG from a £37.4m print contract.
GMG Regional Media publishes 32 newspapers, including the Manchester Evening News and 21 other titles in the north-west of England, plus 10 titles in the south of England, including the Reading Post and the Surrey Advertiser. Its Greater Manchester TV station, Channel M, and the local newspapers in Woking are not included in the deal.
Compare the £44.8 million price Trinity has paid to these past deals involving regional newspapers.

  • 1994 Northcliffe Newspapers bought Nottingham Evening Post for £93m.
  • 1997 Midland Independent Newspapers is bought by Mirror Group for £297 million.
  • 1998 Fourth largest regional press publisher, United Provincial Newspapers, is sold in two deals: UPN Yorkshire and Lancashire newspapers sold to Regional Independent Media for £360m and United Southern Publications sold to Southnews for £47.5m.
  • 1999 Trinity merges with Mirror Group Newspapers in a deal worth £1.3 billion. Newsquest is bought by US publisher Gannett for £904 million. Portsmouth & Sunderland Newspapers is bought by Johnston Press for £266m.
  • 2000 Newscom is sold to Newsquest Media Group for £444m, Adscene titles are sold to Southnews (£52m)and Northcliffe Newspapers, Belfast Telegraph Newspapers are sold by Trinity Mirror to Independent News & Media for £300m, Bristol United Press is sold to Northcliffe Newspapers Group, and Southnews is sold to Trinity Mirror for £285m. 
  • 2002 Johnston Press acquires Regional Independent Media's 53 regional newspaper titles in a £560 million deal.
Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, said today: "The Manchester Evening News and its sister titles have made a huge contribution to the fortunes of the group for the best part of a century.
"GMG is mandated to secure the future of the Guardian in perpetuity, and we have a strong portfolio which has to be in the right shape to achieve that goal. The group board and the Scott Trust have made the decision to sell in light of these strategic objectives."
Mark Dodson, the chief executive of GMG Regional Media, and Ruth Spratt, the managing director of MEN Media, are to leave the company.
Source for newspaper deals: the Newspaper Society.

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