Yorkshire Post owner is put up for sale

The Yorkshire Post
The Yorkshire Post
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The ​Yorkshire Post's owner Johnston Press has put itself up for sale after months of speculation a​bout the company's future.

The group​,​ which ​owns​ ​hundreds of titles including the i newspaper ​and The Scotsman, said it is seeking offers for ​the company.

The decision comes as a result of a strategic review, which ​JP launched in 2017 to assess options for refinancing £220​m of bonds due for repayment next year.

The company said it is not currently in discussions with any potential buyers.

JP said ​parties with a potential interest in making a proposal should contact ​​Rothschild​.​

It added that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor that any transaction will be executed, nor as to terms of any such offer or transaction.​

Speculation that the publisher would be sold has been growing since it announced the strategic review in March 2017.

In August 2018, the company's share price spiked, surging by as much as 70​ per cent​ in afternoon trading amid rumours that a mystery buyer was quietly ​buying up more stock.

Bidders for the business could include activist shareholder Custos Group, which already owns more than 20​ per cent​ of J​P.

Custos Group, which is headed by Norwegian entrepreneur Christen Ager-Hanssen, reportedly said in August that it would be a prospective bidder for the business if it went into administration.

At its most recent trading update, J​P reported a hit to revenues, mostly due to changes in Google and Facebook algorithms.

Total revenue fell 10​ per cent​ to £93​m for the first half of 2018, despite a boost from the i newspaper.

In the same period, the company swung out of the red with interim pre-tax profits of £6.2​m against ​a ​loss of £10.2​m a year earlier​.

The turnaround ​followed a one-off £8.8m accounting gain.