The national publisher, which also acquired the i newspaper from JPI Media earlier this year, will gain ownership of all three JPI print centres – Dinnington in Yorkshire, Portsmouth in Hampshire and Carn in County Fermanagh.
The move represents a change in strategy for DMG, having shut down its Didcot print site in 2017 at an estimated cost of £50m. It then split printing of The Daily Mail between the Johnston Press Portsmouth plant, News UK’s sites in Hertfordshire and Merseyside, and its remaining printers in Thurrock. It is unclear how DMG’s new fleet of press plants will affect its use of News UK’s sites.
DMG Media group production director Julia Palmer-Poucher said the move would improve print production and doing so would help the group serve retailers. She said: “This acquisition reflects our intention to protect and grow the reach of quality journalism through our print media. It better positions us to prove the best quality printing capacity from ideal locations to serve our retailers and readers.”
Meanwhile, in an email sent to staff, chief executive of JPI Media David King confirmed the purchase which took place on 17 October. He said: “I recently wrote and told you that we had initiated a process to explore our options to sell the business.
“I can now confirm that at midnight on 17 October, DMG Media has acquired JPI Media Print Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries, which together own our three print sites.”
According to documents submitted to Companies House, the company’s three directors were also replaced with a new team of three directors on 21 October. King promised that no jobs will be affected by the move and that all the print team will be transferred with the business.
As well as printing its national newspapers, the plants will also continue to print JPI Media’s newspapers and other publishers’ titles, it has been confirmed.
Meanwhile the regional publisher, which publishes some 170 titles, is up for sale, with both Archant and ex-Local World boss David Montgomery reportedly interested in purchasing the brand. In its statement announcing its acquisition of JPI’s print sites, DMG Media said it had no plans to buy any remaining assets from JPI, or to acquire any further print sites.
One of the print sites purchased in Dinnington is allegedly worth £60m. It is said to be one of the fastest printing presses in the world, with a capacity of 120,000 full-colour newspapers an hour.
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