Gannett Announces Terms to Acquire Publishing Arm of SMG
McLEAN, VA – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) today announced that Gannett U.K. Limited, the parent company of Newsquest, has entered into an agreement with SMG plc to acquire SMG’s publishing business for £216 million (U.S. $346 million).
SMG Publishing consists of three Scottish regional newspapers: The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times; eleven specialist consumer and business-to-business magazine titles; and an online advertising and content business.
The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom. The Department of Trade and Industry announced on Dec. 10, 2002 that Gannett’s application to acquire SMG Publishing under the special mergers regime had been referred to the Competition Commission, which is expected to report by March 10, 2003.
In announcing the agreement, Douglas H. McCorkindale, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, said: “We are delighted that SMG Publishing will become part of Gannett. These publications extend our portfolio to Scotland for the first time and offer enhanced opportunities for growth.”
The acquisition of SMG Publishing increases Gannett’s strategic focus in the U.K.’s regional publishing sector, McCorkindale said.
Paul Davidson, chief executive of Newsquest and president of Gannett U.K., said: “SMG Publishing’s prestigious titles will make an excellent combination with our existing newspaper, printing, magazine and related internet sites. The management and employees of SMG Publishing share our commitment to provide quality editorial products to both readers and advertisers in the communities we serve.”
Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 94 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns in excess of 400 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 15 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 22 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.