Johnston Press agrees delay in covenant testing

Adam Hooker
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lenders to regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press have agreed a delay in the testing of its covenants.

Johnston Press, which publishes The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, was due to have its debt covenants tested today, but this has now been deferred to 31 August.

According to chief financial officer Stuart Paterson, Johnston Press is still in discussions with its lenders regarding refinancing the company's existing facilities.

He said that the company hoped to be able to update on the refinancing, as well as the covenants, at the end of August when its interim results are announced.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous year for the publisher, in which it attempted, unsuccessfully, to offload its Irish titles and, along with other newspaper publishers, has been hit by diminishing advertising rates.

In March, the company warned of uncertainty over its "ability to trade as a going concern" if it cannot sell its Irish titles, or complete the refinancing of its debt.

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