Fleet Street veteran eyes JPI Media takeover

By Rhys Handley, Thursday 15 August 2019

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One-time Mirror Group chief executive David Montgomery is reportedly preparing to take over JPI Media as the first step in a buy-and-build acquisition spree.

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Montgomery has edited News of the World and was chief executive of Mirror Group

Fleet Street veteran Montgomery is said to be planning a series of deals to acquire struggling newspaper groups through his investment company National World, according to a Daily Telegraph report citing “industry sources”.

The report said the former News of the World editor is “within days” of announcing his latest move, likely to be i newspaper and Yorkshire Post publisher JPI Media, which is currently in talks to sell a number of its assets.

Reach is among the interested bidders, and has been “knocked sideways” by Montgomery’s actions, which constitute a “relentless pursuit” of JPI, according to City AM.

Montgomery is one of six registered directors of National World, with former Reach chief financial officer Vijay Vaghela also on the Companies House list. Vaghela served at Reach for around 24 years and was involved in its acquisition of Local World.

JPI Media was established last November following a pre-pack deal in which Johnston Press was acquired by a consortium of its debt investors led by US hedge fund GoldenTree Asset Management.

It was revealed in July that the company was entering talks to sell the i as well as more than 100 of its regional news brands. Reach entered early talks to acquire “certain of JPI Media’s assets” later the same month.

JPI Media declined to comment on the ongoing sales process when approached by PrintWeek.

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