One of the most notable local newspaper entrepreneurs in Britain has put more cash into Johnston Press, as the group continues to struggle through the downturn.
Sir Ray Tindle, who is the proprietor of over 200 local newspapers throughout the UK, has increased his stake in the Edinburgh-based group, with the purchase of a further 600,000 shares. This brings his total share in the company responsible for Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman to 8%.
The investment comes at a time when shares in the firm are at a very low ebb of just 6p, with the value not exceeding 10p in over a year. Just five years ago, the share price was buoyant at £4.62.
As more people access their news via the Internet, newspapers as a whole and local titles in particular have been badly hit. However, slumping performances has resulted in consolidation of titles, with entrepreneurs such as Tindle able to exploit opportunities.
Other companies have been able to take advantage through factoring, including some in Scotland, with Edinburgh and Glasgow invoice factoring being particularly prevalent for many businesses.
Speaking about the deal, Tindle admitted that the firm faced problems in the future, but was quick to praise the Johnston family who used to run the operation. He also said the firm was responsible for
“one of the best collections of newspapers in the country”
though ruled out taking a controlling interest.
The new management has outlined its plans to move from daily to weekly titles and focus efforts more on online presence.