According to Financial Times sources familiar with the discussion of the deal, the Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny Lebedev decided to sell the newspaper i owned a Supplement to a daily British newspaper The Independent.
According to the edition, negotiations about the purchase being from the newspaper’s holding company Johnston Press. The transaction is valued at £24 million on the date of conclusion of the agreement are not yet clear, say the sources.
Company Johnston Press later confirmed the fact of negotiations about purchase of the i Reuters.
Negotiations on the sale i pass on the background of unstable situation in the British print media market that has developed due to falling advertising revenues, the FT notes. This situation has already caused the number of deals, Trinity Mirror paid £187 million to operate a regional newspaper holding company Local World.
As Financial Times notes, Lebedev is concerned about the loss of the Independent, who since 2010 has exceeded £50 million According to the publication, Lebedev also probably plan to sell a minority stake in the Independent, though, according to people familiar with the matter sources, the deal is complicated by the ownership structure of the online version of the newspaper.
Lebedev, who also owns an edition of the Evening Standard and the London Live TV channel, started to publish a newspaper i in 2010 as a budget Annex to be Independent.
Annex i brings in extra advertising revenue, while the cost of publication is small. Model newspaper with a small selection of articles at a low price and was popular with students and pensioners. Trinity Mirror is working on plans to launch similar publications, writes FT.
Johnston Press, owner of Scotsman, was one of the companies most affected by the recent downturn in the industry, its shares last year fell by 77%, the FT reports. If it’s a done deal, Johnston Press will create an online version of i, says the publication.
Plans lebedevich about Independent remain uncertain, said FT. It is also unclear whether i will continue to use content-Independent in case of sale.