£360m refinancing deal for Johnston Press

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johnston-press-logoJohnston Press shareholders have approved a £360m refinancing package which includes new investment from broadcaster BSkyB.

Earlier this month the company, which publishes many of the north’s best-known newspaper titles including the Yorkshire Post and Lancashire Evening Post, announced a “ground-breaking” regional advertising partnership which gave Johnston Press’ sales network access to Sky’s new AdSmart local product. This tailors what is shown in television ad breaks according to a viewer’s location and profile.

During yesterday’s Annual General Meeting shareholders voted overwhelmingly to support the package, rubber stamping a deal which will reduce Johnston Press’ overall debts reduced by a third to just under £200m. The full voting record can be seen here.

BSkyB takes a £5m stake and is expected to end up owning nearly 2 per cent of the company now the £360m refinancing package has been agreed.

The new system will be trialled from June in the two regions of Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield; and Milton Keynes, Northampton and Peterborough.

Sky’s team will work alongside the 1600-strong advertising sales personnel at Johnston to deliver these regional campaigns.