Friday 25 May 2018

Independent Group acquires seven new regional news titles

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Independent News & Media (INM) has expanded its presence in the regional newspaper market after buying the publishing division of Celtic Media Group (CMG).

The deal adds five new counties to the INM Group's spread of regional newspapers.

The company is now set to become the largest player in the regional newspaper market with 20 titles.

Celtic Media owns seven regional titles, including the Anglo Celt, the Meath Chronicle, the Connaught Telegraph, the Offaly Independent, the Westmeath Examiner, the Westmeath Independent and Forum, a bi-weekly paper that is distributed in the commuter-belt areas of south Meath.

INM's existing regional newspapers include The Herald in Dublin, The Kerryman, The Sligo Champion and Wexford People.

Celtic Media's printing business is not part of the transaction.

The firm, which employs around 100 staff, is headed up by former Irish Independent business editor, Frank Mulrennan.

It is understood that Mr Mulrennan will be joining INM as part of the transaction.

The deal announced is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

"We are very pleased that Celtic Media Group's publishing titles are becoming part of INM's portfolio of regional and digital titles," said Robert Pitt, ceo, INM.

"There are clear synergies arising from this transaction, which fit well with INM's strategy to remain as a key player in the delivery of printed news content on a national and regional basis. We look forward to welcoming the titles into the INM fold and to working with management and editorial to ensure the continued successful delivery of quality local newspapers."

The value of the transaction was not publicly disclosed.

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