CN Group Announces Sale to Newsquest

CN Group has announced that the publisher is in the process of being sold to Newsquest, with completion expected shortly after the shareholder meeting on 9 March, subject to shareholder approval.

In a press release today, CN Group said that the board had taken the decision to end its independence because it believes that the long term future of the group, its staff and its pensioners is better protected as part of a larger, scaled operation.

The deal follows a targeted marketing of the business which saw the sale of its two local radio stations to Global Radio in the autumn, CN Group said.

Robin Burgess, chairman of CN Group, said: “A member of my family has run this company for the past four generations so this sale is the end of an era and is tinged with sadness. However our ability to prosper as a medium sized independent group, in light of digital and social media developments, has become increasingly difficult and it is clear that the challenges will only get harder.

“Faced with these and other issues, including the pension deficit, we came to the conclusion that a sale of the publishing business is the best way forward for all our stakeholders. We are confident that under new ownership the group’s titles and sites will continue to serve their communities as they have in the past.”

Miller Hogg, CN Group chief executive, said: “It is vitally important for a local media company like CN to be part of a larger and committed regional media group like Newsquest. We still remain a local company with local brands serving the local community.

“This deal will provide certainty for our local staff for a sustainable future and with a media group capable of investing for the print and digital world we live in”.

Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest chief executive, said: “We look forward to the opportunity of working with the CN Group, its staff and the community it represents in building on their great local brands and publishing expertise, and helping them forge a strong future.

“We will endeavour to support them with the scale and resources that Newsquest can provide, whilst enabling them to carry on what they have done so well for many years – namely providing first class content and advertising solutions for the people and businesses of Cumbria and the wider region.”