Newsquest parent company faces takeover from 'predatory' media firm

Simon Austin's picture

The parent company of publisher Newsquest - which owns titles including the Northern Echo and News and Star in Carlisle - has  received a takeover bid from a rival US publisher that the National Union of Journalists says is “renowned for cost cutting and job slashing”.

MNG Enterprises, also known as Digital First Media, has made a cash offer for Newsquest's US parent company Gannett of $12 per share, having built up a 7.5% stake in the publisher.

Gannett bought Newsquest, the UK's second largest regional publisher, in 1999 and also owns USA Today and hundreds of local newspapers in the United States.

The NUJ said Gannet was now “being pursued by the most predatory of vulture capitalist corporate raiders who are far distant from the needs and responsibilities of a modern media company”.

In a statement, Gannett confirmed it had received an unsolicited bid from MNG and said its board of directors will “carefully review the proposal received to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and Gannett shareholders”.

A Newsquest spokesperson declined to comment.