The Board of Johnston Press plc ('Johnston Press') announces today that it has entered into an agreement with EMAP plc ('EMAP') to acquire from EMAP the interest EMAP will acquire in the share capital of Score Press Limited ('Score Press'), conditional upon completion of the recommended offer, announced today, by EMAP for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Scottish Radio
Holdings plc ('Scottish Radio') not already owned by EMAP.
Score Press, which is currently owned by Scottish Radio, publishes 45 local weekly newspapers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Of these newspapers, there are 16 in Scotland, 24 in Northern Ireland and five in the Republic of Ireland. Key assets include Morton Newspapers in Northern Ireland, Kilkenny People Holdings, Leitrim Observer and Longford Leader in the
Republic of Ireland and Angus County Press, Galloway Gazette and Stornoway Gazette in Scotland. In the last financial year to 30 September 2004, Score Press reported revenues and operating profit of £35.1 million and £11.2 million respectively. As at 30 September 2004, Score Press had net assets of £55.5
million. On 19 May 2005 Scottish Radio announced its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2005. These reported Score Press revenues of £18.7 million and operating profit of £6.1 million, up by 7% and 15% respectively on the same period in the prior year.
Under the terms of the agreement with EMAP, Johnston Press has agreed to acquire Score Press for an aggregate cash consideration of £155 million on a cash and debt free basis. This consideration will be satisfied from Johnston Press' banking facilities.
Johnston Press believes that Score Press represents an attractive and complementary addition to Johnston Press' existing portfolio. In addition to strengthening Johnston Press' focused regional newspaper franchise in the consolidating UK market, the transaction will establish a strong presence for Johnston Press in well-established and profitable markets in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The acquisition will also provide opportunities for operational and purchasing synergies.
Johnston Press expects that the acquisition of Score Press will be earnings enhancing(excluding the impact of acquisition related exceptional items) in the current financial year.
Johnston Press plc
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