A.H. Belo sells Providence Journal to New Media Investment Group
The daily newspaper is one of the oldest print publications in the US, first published in 1829, with a daily circulation of approximately 72,000 and 96,000 on Sunday
NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2014 — New Media Investment Group Inc. announced today it has reached an agreement to purchase The Providence Journal and related print and digital assets for $46.0 million in cash from A. H. Belo Corporation. The Providence Journal is one of the oldest print publications in the United States and was first published in 1829. It has a daily circulation of approximately 72,000 and 96,000 on Sunday.
Jim Moroney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of A. H. Belo, said, “We are pleased that New Media is purchasing The Providence Journal assets and we are confident that New Media will continue the great journalistic tradition of The Providence Journal. We thank our colleagues in Providence for their hard work and support as we have been privileged to own and operate The Providence Journal for the past seventeen years.”
Michael E. Reed, the Company’s President and CEO commented, “We are very excited to announce the proposed transaction with A. H. Belo. The Providence Journal is one of the most established and prominent newspapers in the United States and is the preeminent provider of local content to the greater Providence marketplace. In addition, its high quality editorial standards have resulted in four Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper. We are very excited to welcome the paper, its employees and the community into the growing New Media family. We deeply admire the great work that has been done in Providence under the stewardship of A. H. Belo, and look forward to continuing that tradition.
“We are also enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand our digital services business, Propel, with this acquisition. There are approximately 28,000 small and medium sized businesses in the Providence market and the newspaper has a strong, in-market local sales force of approximately 40 representatives. Further, with only about 25% of revenue coming from local print advertising, we believe this acquisition further evolves New Media’s revenue mix towards stable to growing revenue categories.
“Over the past 10 months, New Media has entered into agreements to acquire approximately $151 million of local media assets at an average purchase price to EBITDA multiple of 3.3x. We are very excited about our progress year to date and, as we look forward to the second half of the year, remain focused on executing on our strategy which we believe will drive substantial shareholder returns.”
New Media anticipates the deal will close in the third quarter of 2014 subject to customary closing conditions; however, there can be no assurance as to the timing or the occurrence of the closing.
Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to A. H. Belo on the transaction.