Celtic Media is to sell its newspaper titles on to INM
06 Sep 2016 (12:13)
Celtic Media is to sell its newspapers to Independent News & Media (INM) plc. A share purchase agreement signed on Friday 2nd September will see INM acquire the publishing company, Celtic Media Newspapers Ltd, containing the seven newspaper brands and pre-press/ digital centre in Mullingar, which employ 100 staff.
The newspapers being sold are The Westmeath Examiner, Anglo Celt, The Meath Chronicle, Westmeath Independent, The Connaught Telegraph and the two free newspapers Offaly Independent and Forum. The sale is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Minister for Communications – a process normally taking 8-10 weeks.
The Celtic Media print operation at Navan is not part of the sale to INM nor are the premises owned by Celtic Media in Navan, Cavan and Athlone.
Celtic Media Group has been owned by its Irish management team since a management buyout in 2012, led by CEO Frank Mulrennan and Finance Director, Frank Long.
Frank Mulrennan has been appointed, with effect from January 2017, as the Managing Director of the INM Regional Division, which will consist of 20 newspaper titles, including Celtic Media’s 7, operating across 11 counties.
Mr Mulrennan was previously business editor and Farming Independent editor with INM before joining Celtic Media in 2005. He had also been managing director of Drogheda Independent Group, part of INM’s regional newspaper platform.
Addressing staff yesterday, Mr Mulrennan said: “As soon as Competition approval is received, our titles will become part of the number one regional newspaper group in the country with the largest multi-platform publishing offering and the leading pre-press and digital provider nationally.”
“This is a very positive move for our company as we have made great strides over the past number of years thanks to the energy and innovation of our staff and the confidence of our board to invest in new technologies across both print and digital.”
He said: “All our publishing colleagues will remain employed by Celtic Media Newspapers Ltd, having their existing terms and conditions in place, while owned by INM.”
The company will be meeting with Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary of the National Union of Journalists and other staff representatives to answer any questions arising from the announcement.