Ashurst is advising multimedia writer Johnston Press, which owns titles corresponding to i newspaper, because it places itself up on the market in response to monetary struggles.
Company associate and The Lawyer Sizzling 100 2017 Karen Davies and international head of restructuring and particular conditions Giles Boothman are main the sale and strategic evaluate of the beleaguered firm, which has been grappling to get its funds so as since March 2017, when it first began negotiations for the restructuring and refinancing of £220m price of bonds.
Davies and Boothman are being assisted by junior restructuring associate Ru-woei Foong.
Former Clifford Likelihood affiliate Karen Davies rapidly turned one in all Ashurst’s busiest company gamers final yr. Having acted for providers supplier Xchanging whereas at her former agency, Davies noticed the corporate by way of a highly-publicised bidding battle in 2016 between Capita and eventual winner CSC.
Newspaper group Johnston Press runs practically 200 regional titles, in addition to i newspaper, the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Publish. Its income slumped by 9 per cent over the primary half of the yr, amid a difficult buying and selling market as a result of falling circulation, the introduction of latest GDPR guidelines, consolidation throughout the trade and uncertainty round the price of paper.
The choice has come after Johnston Press kicked off a strategic evaluate final yr.
Background to the sale
Ashurst and Scottish agency MacRoberts are listed as Johnston Press’ principal advisers, with Karen Davies on name for the corporate over the past eight years. Two years in the past, Davies led the Ashurst workforce when property of the i newspaper had been bought to Johnston Press for £24m. MacRoberts associate Alan Kelly labored on the phrases of the acquisition.
The acquisition enabled Johnston Press to turn out to be the UK’s fourth largest information publishing group. The pair additionally acted collectively on the corporate’s £360m capital refinancing plan in 2014.
Johnston Press’s sale come as little shock, contemplating the present powerful marketplace for publishers following a decline in conventional and digital promoting revenues.
Dennis Publishing’s fortunes had been revived in August when it was purchased out by non-public fairness agency Exponent for £166m. Travers Smith and Osborne Clarke suggested within the deal, with Travers company companions Ian Shawyer and Lucie Cawood main for Exponent.
Osborne Clarke associate Tim Hewens represented Dennis Publishing’s administration workforce within the sale.
In 2015, Travers Smiths’ head of competitors Nigel Seay suggested Rapid Media on its £24m acquisition of a portfolio of biking and craft titles from Future Publishing, together with Mountain Biking UK and Mollie Makes.