Newspaper chain Halifax Media Group sold to New Media Investment Group for $280M

Formerly known as GateHouse Media before bankruptcy, New Media Investment Group continues roll-up strategy

Press Release:

NEW YORK, N.Y. – November 20, 2014 – New Media Investment Group Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets of Halifax Media Group for $280.0 million in cash, subject to working capital adjustments. New Media intends to fund the acquisition with a combination of cash on the balance sheet and incremental debt under its existing term loan. Halifax Media is a leading newspaper publisher serving communities primarily in the southeastern portion of the United States. Halifax publishes 36 newspapers, including 24 dailies, and affiliated websites, and has a total daily circulation of approximately 635,000 and 752,000 on Sunday.

G-Sun-178Michael E. Reed, New Media’s President and CEO commented, “This is a very exciting day for our Company. Halifax Media is one of the premier, locally oriented media companies in the United States whose business fits extremely well within New Media. Michael Redding, Chief Executive Officer of Halifax Media, and his team have done a wonderful job building one of the best, local media businesses in the country, and we look forward to continuing their tradition of producing high quality, local content and products serving their communities.

“Halifax’s publications are all well-established, leading providers of local news in the communities they serve. The daily newspapers have demonstrated journalistic excellence and have been awarded multiple Pulitzer Prizes. Additionally, the acquisition further diversifies New Media’s business from both a geographic and customer standpoint. These markets also present a tremendous opportunity for New Media to expand its digital businesses, Propel and BestRide, as these markets expand our footprint of small and mid-size businesses we will be able to reach.

“I’m also pleased to announce that, not only is this acquisition transformative for New Media, it is accretive as well, and we’re excited to close the transaction. Once closed, we will have deployed approximately $430 million in local media assets in a little over one year. As we look toward 2015, we are excited to integrate Halifax’s publications into New Media’s business, and continue to successfully execute on our strong pipeline of other potential deals.”

“It has been an honor to lead such a talented group of employees. Their dedication to excellence has helped us build an extraordinary company,” said Michael Redding, Halifax CEO. “There is so much potential for these publications, especially with our digital products and services. New Media is acquiring a company that has amazing employees, premier products, and businesses located in some of the best markets in the Southeast. By combining New Media’s geographic footprint with Halifax Media’s southeast reach it will be a powerhouse in the industry.”

New Media anticipates the deal will close in the first quarter of 2015 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 Halifax Media Group.

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