Archant, the publisher of titles including Cheshire Life, Lancashire Life and Yorkshire Life is reportedly on the market for the second time in less than 2 years.
According to The Guardian, its owner, RCapital, has contacted prospective buyers and appointed Ulmus Advisory to handle the sale.
National World, is among the names at the top of the list. It joined forces with private equity firm, Endless LLP to put forward a bid for Archant when it was up for sale the first time.
RCapital was also among the contenders to acquire JPI Media in 2020, which ultimately went to David Montgomery’s National World.
In December last year, Montgomery released a statement that National World was “actively engaged” in targeting “acquisition opportunities.”
It’s expected that the information memorandum to prospective buyers will also have been sent to Reach and Newsquest, the latter being another name linked to Archant’s original sale 18 months ago.
The Guardian reports that prospective buyers had until the end of Friday to submit a bid.
Archant first went up for sale in July 2020, as it sought to plug a funding deficit which had been made worse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The family publisher dates back to 1845 and publishes around 60 newspapers and 75 magazine titles.
The private equity group, RCapital, stepped in in October 2020, with partner, Chris Campbell saying at the time:
“We are incredibly pleased to have worked alongside Archant’s management team and KPMG to put forward a plan that will restructure finances and inject fresh capital into one of Britain’s oldest local newspaper brands.”
It later sold its New European title to a consortium including the former BBC DG, Mark Thompson and Lionel Barber who was an editor of the Financial Times.