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GANNETT BUYS MORE U.K. PROPERTIES.

A plan to buy a group of 45 regional newspapers that ring London will add to Gannett Co. Inc.'s mix of United Kingdom properties.

The company said that its Newsquest Media Group division has entered into an agreement with Independent News and Media Ltd. to buy the papers for $94 million (60 million).

The acquisition comes on the heels of a $340 million (216 million) purchase of three Scottish regional daily newspapers last December.

Newsquest is now the second largest regional newspaper publisher in the United Kingdom, with more than 300 titles, including 15 dailies. The company says its total weekly circulation is 10.6 million copies.

Newsquest already owns 34 newspapers that service the 33 boroughs of London; the INM acquisition will provide the company with a greater reach in the London suburbs as well as providing it with the opportunity to further consolidate production and back-office functions.

The London acquisition is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom.

The cross-Atlantic, cross-media strategy that Douglas McCorkindale is pursuing looks to be a winner. It's clear that Gannett is bringing a variety of American newspaper theories to the United Kingdom and those theories are proven to raise profit margins.
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Publication:NewsInc
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 31, 2003
Words:210
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