The corporate team at Penningtons Manches acted for Newsquest Media Group, one of the UK’s largest regional media groups, in its recent acquisition of Cumbrian news publisher CN Group for an undisclosed sum. Led by corporate partner Chris Owen, who has also acted on a number of other acquisitions for Newsquest, the team advised on the purchase of the independent publisher which runs two daily and five weekly regional newspapers.
Newsquest publishes over 200 news brands, magazines and trade publications and operates regional newspapers across the UK including London, Glasgow, York, Newport and Southampton. The purchase of CN Group compliments Newsquest’s acquisitions in 2017 of independent publisher NWN Media and Isle of Wight County Press. The Carlisle-based CN Group which also has offices in Barrow, West Cumbria and Hexham, has been majority owned by the Burgess family for four generations and employs 324 people across four offices. The acquisition was unanimously approved at a general meeting of shareholders.
Paul Hunter, Group Finance Director of Newsquest, said: “We valued the expertise offered by Chris and the rest of the team at Penningtons Manches. Having worked with them before, we knew we could rely on their specialist advice and commercial awareness in order to achieve the best outcome for the business."
Lead partner Chris Owen comments: “It has been a pleasure to work with Newsquest once again on this purchase. It’s an acquisition that will allow the CN Group to take full advantage of Newsquest’s resources, expertise and local news experience and become part of a larger scaled operation.”
The latest deal for Newsquest reflects Penningtons Manches’ expertise in the media and publishing sector, and builds on the high profile transactions undertaken by the corporate team over the last 12 months. Following a record number of deals in 2017, the value of which rose by 27%, the team acted in over 140 deals with an aggregate value of £1.5 billion. The acquisition of CN Group is another example of how this momentum is continuing in 2018.