Rumours Indy / IoS Set to Close

indy

The Lebedevs look set to sell the i paper to regional publisher Johnston Press for around £24 million, escalating rumours that the Independent and the Independent on Sunday could be set to close. ESI Media, Lebedev’s company which owns the i, Indy, Sindy and Standard, admits this morning: “At this stage no decision has been made and we realise the uncertainty that this news will cause our employees and customers”. Following months of rumours, the Telegraph, Media Guardian, and the Times are all speculating that this spells the end for the Indy and Sindy.

ABC figures put the Indy’s average circulation last year at 61,000, compared to 280,000 for the i. The i is unusually profitable for a Lebedev venture, while the Indy lost £5 million last year, and London Live a further £6 million. Given the i’s content comes straight from the Indy, it doesn’t look good for the remaining Lebedev titles…

UPDATE: City Brokers Peel Hunt have put out a negative note to investors:

Potential ‘i’ deal. More print, and bad for JPR bond holders

Life at Johnston Press is never dull. Having just announced ‘a reduction of pension deficit’, JPR is now in advanced talks to acquire the i for c£24m. This looks to be a transaction multiple of c4.5x EBIT, and hence not supportive of JPR’s own current EV multiple. We cannot imagine bond holders or pension trustees will be happy. JPR had cash at hand of c£41m at H1, but gross debt of c£225m, and operating trends have been deteriorating sharply since then. We are in favour of print industry consolidation (see our Media Book published today). However, we are confused by JPR’s business strategy as a regional publisher, which has focussed on paring back print, in favour of digital. The i is an innovative product, but it is wholly print and national. Nationals is a very competitive space, with TNI amongst others rumoured to be in launch mode. Shareholder approval of this deal will be needed. 




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Hugh Grant tweets…

“Theresa May’s head now so far up Paul Dacre’s arse I can only assume she’ll be wearing him as a hat to Ascot.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Katie Perrior Joins News UK Katie Perrior Joins News UK
Kelvin on Way Out Kelvin on Way Out
McDonnell Denies Being Marxist McDonnell Denies Being Marxist
Osborne’s First Front Toned Down Osborne’s First Front Toned Down
Isabel Oakeshott: Wikipedia is Hotbed of Fake News Isabel Oakeshott: Wikipedia is Hotbed of Fake News
Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today
Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News
Appeal on Behalf of the Friends of George Miller Appeal on Behalf of the Friends of George Miller
Revealed: New European’s Plan to “Stir Up Controversy” Revealed: New European’s Plan to “Stir Up Controversy”
Labour Breaks Own Leveson Pledge Labour Breaks Own Leveson Pledge
Paul Mason Embargoes Reviews of His Play Paul Mason Embargoes Reviews of His Play
Legs-It Is Not Bigotry, It’s Popular Journalism Legs-It Is Not Bigotry, It’s Popular Journalism
Paul Mason Loses IPSO Complaint Against The Sun Paul Mason Loses IPSO Complaint Against The Sun
Amber Rudd & Fleet Street Don’t Understand Encryption Amber Rudd & Fleet Street Don’t Understand Encryption
Channel 4 and Guardian Sanctimony Backfires Channel 4 and Guardian Sanctimony Backfires