Reach has confirmed that it is in the early stages of discussions in relation to acquiring “certain of JPI Media’s assets”.
In a statement issued today (18 July) in response to recent media speculation, the publisher said that while it gives regular consideration to M&A opportunities that would accelerate its strategy, “there can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will lead to an agreed transaction”.
The announcement follows last week’s reports that JPI, which was established last November when it acquired Johnston Press in a pre-pack deal, is in talks to sell its assets, which include the i newspaper and more than 100 regional news brands.
Reach said a further announcement will be made “if and when appropriate” while JPI Media said it was not commenting at this time.
Its sales in the year to 30 December 2018 had increased by 16.2% to £723.9m while its adjusted operating profit rose by 16.8% to £145.6m.
Reach’s share price jumped by nearly 10% to 89.9p in early trading, its highest level of the year so far, but has since settled down to 84.8p at the time of writing.