The deal, worth £17m, was announced to the London Stock Exchange this morning. Whilst subject to shareholder approval it is expected to be concluded in early January.
Johnston Press Chief Executive, Ashley Highfield, said: “The titles we have agreed to sell will continue to play an important role in their communities and I have every confidence that Iliffe Media will be able to take them forward and develop them further in the future.
“A highly talented and committed team work on these titles and we wish them every success going forward.”
Mr Highfield added that, as the deal progresses, it will be business as usual with the teams remaining fully focused on customers.
Iliffe Media Chief Executive, Edward Iliffe, said: “We very much look forward to working with the local teams and would like to thank the management team from Johnston Press for carrying out the transaction in a very cooperative and positive manner.”
Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent family run media business, firmly believes in the future of local publishing. Iliffe sees the addition of the JP titles to be a natural extension and good geographical fit to the recently launched Cambridge Independent, a weekly publication serving the city of Cambridge. Iliffe’s commitment to the industry is further demonstrated by continuing to maintain and print its expanded portfolio of newspapers on its own Cambridge-based press.
The sale comprises the following titles (and their associated websites): Bury Free Press, the Local (Bourne), Diss Express, Fenland Citizen, Lincolnshire Free Press, Grantham Journal, Haverhill Echo, Lynn News (Tuesday and Friday), Newmarket Journal, Rutland Times, Suffolk Free Press, Spalding Guardian and Stamford Mercury.