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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Reports: Publisher may sell Limerick Leader to pay debts

It’s being reported this weekend that the regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press, which publishes The Limerick Leader here along with many other regional newspapers, could sell some of its titles as it tries to reduce its mounting £465 million debt.

Numerous articles have appeared in Sunday newspapers reporting on how the media group has already brought in financier Raglan Capital to handle any offers for its Irish newspapers,
The titles for sale include the 'Leinster Leader', the 'Kilkenny People', the 'Nationalist', the 'Limerick Leader', the 'Tipperary Star' and the 'Tallaght Echo'.

The group's printing presses in Limerick and Kilkenny are also understood to be covered by the sale, which is being carried out by Dublin-based Raglan Capital.

The total package is expected to fetch upwards of €70m, leaving Johnston Press with a hefty writedown on the estimated €250m it spent compiling its Irish portfolio.
The Limerick Leader is owned by Limerick Leader Ltd, a holding company of Johnston Press. It was reported today that Raglan approached the Johnston group offering a proposal to find a buyer for its Irish titles.

The Leader newspaper is a prominent mainstay of Limerick media and was founded in 1889.In 2002 the ‘Leinster Leader newspaper group’ bought the Limerick Leader for close to €23 million.

"Johnston puts its 14 Irish newspapers up for sale" - Irish Independent
"KPMG called in at Johnston" – Sunday Times

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