Local World to acquire the regional publishing assets of Northcliffe and Iliffe

Local World, a newly formed company, is acquiring the regional publishing assets of the Northcliffe and Iliffe businesses and will have an agreed enterprise valuation of circa £100 million at completion. On a pro forma basis, Local World would have reported revenues of £273 million and operating profit of £21 million for the twelve months ended 30 September 2011, and would have had gross assets of £38 million at that date.

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.

Auckland said: “Local World will be a comprehensive local content provider, offering the best and most trusted source of news, views and advertising in print, online and mobile, to its local audiences in the UK. The new company will be well-resourced, entrepreneurial, and able to respond quickly to the differing requirements of local communities.”

Local World, with a combined weekly newspaper audience of 6 million readers and 7 million online users, aims to revitalise local media by offering fully integrated print and digital media services that focus on relevant content, advertising and local services across the UK.

The combined product portfolio of 63 local portal websites has a monthly audience of over seven million unique users. The print business includes 16 daily titles, 36 paid weeklies, 40 free weeklies, two Metro franchises and a number of niche products including magazines. Famous brands include the Cambridge Evening News, Leicester Mercury and Hull Daily Mail. The combined print portfolio has a weekly reach of six million people.

UK, London

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