DMGT has completed its disposal of Northcliffe Media to Local World

Previous reporting: Local World to acquire the regional publishing assets of Northcliffe and Iliffe Posted on November 21, 2012

DMGTDMGT has completed the disposal of Northcliffe Media, its regional newspaper business, to Local World. DMGT received cash proceeds of £52.5 million and shares representing a 38.7% stake in Local World, as indicated in the 21 November, 2012 announcement.

The Iliffe family, owners of Yattendon Group, have sold Iliffe News & Media to Local World in exchange for a 21.3% shareholding in the new business and Trinity Mirror has acquired a 20% shareholding. The remaining Local World shares were purchased by other investors including Artefact Group, an Investment Fund associated with Lord Ashcroft, and Odey Asset Management.

Northcliffe Media earned operating profits of £26 million from revenues of £213 million in the 12 months to September, 2012. DMGT localworldalso incurred £10 million of exceptional operating costs in respect of Northcliffe Media during the year. Local World’s pro forma combined operating profits are £29 million on revenues of £249 million for the year to 30 September, 2012.

DMGT has agreed with the Trustees of the Pension Funds affected that £30 million of the cash proceeds from the disposal will be paid into the Pension Funds. £15 million will be paid in the current financial year, of which approximately £5 million will be paid in respect of the Section 75 Employer’s Debt which arises as a result of the employees of Northcliffe Media leaving the Pension Funds. This follows a reorganisation of the Group in 2011 under which responsibility for the majority of the liabilities was apportioned to DMG Holdings Limited. The remaining £15 million will be paid in the 2013/14 financial year.

Key terms:

  • DMGT will to sell Northcliffe Media, its regional newspaper business for £52.5m in cash and a 38.7% shareholding in Local World. For the financial year ended 30 September 2011, Northcliffe Media had gross assets of £32m and made an operating profit of £17m.
  • The Iliffe family, owners of Yattendon Group, will sell Iliffe News & Media to Local World in exchange for a 21.3% shareholding in the new business.
  • Trinity Mirror will acquire a 20% shareholding in Local World for £14.2 million.
  • The remaining Local World shares will be purchased by other investors including Artefact Group, an Investment Fund associated with Lord Ashcroft, and Odey Asset Management.
  • Steve Auckland, currently Chief Executive of Northcliffe, will become CEO of Local World. Rachel Addison, Group Finance Director of Northcliffe, will assume the same role at the new company alongside a board of directors drawn from the main shareholders. The company will be chaired by David Montgomery.

Local World will become the fourth-largest regional newspaper publisher in the UK, with more than 107 print titles and 60 websites. DMGT will contribute more than 80 titles to the new venture, with another 36 coming from Iliffe News & Media.

The Local World transaction follows the disposal in November 2012 of Associated Neswpapers’ digital assets in central and eastern Europe for cash proceeds of € 32 million (£27 million). During the year to 30 September, 2012 these businesses accounted for £1.8 million of operating profit, £0.5m of share of profits from associates and £6 million of revenues.

UK, London

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