Reach the frontrunner to buy JPI regional titles - report

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JPI Media

Reach is the frontrunner to buy JPI Media’s regional titles, which include the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star, according to the Financial Times.

The group, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, is reported to be the preferred candidate for the bulk of JPI’s 200 titles, “according to two people briefed on the negotiations”.

Reach entered exclusive talks last week, according to one of the sources, and is expected to bid close to £50m for the assets,. The deal would not include the i, which is the subject of exclusive sale talks with Daily Mail and General Trust, owner of the Daily Maill.

The National Union of Journalists has previously expressed concern about Reach buying more titles, warning that the group has been “relentless in reducing original content and the provision of local professional journalism”.

JPI Media was known as Johnston Press until it collapsed into administration last November. A deal between JPI and Reach would face potential scrutiny from the UK’s competition watchdog, although the dire state of the newspaper industry could make blocking the deal unlikely.

Stella EOC, a bank that specialises in media deals, is running the process to sell the JPI assets.