Johnston Press has refuted claims that it will raise the i’s cover price and squeeze retailer margins.

The statement comes in response to a warning from analysts and retailers last week that the i must keep its price and quality to retain its position in the market.

The publisher is in the process of acquiring the i from ESI Media – the commercial arm of the Independent, i and the Evening Standard – for £24m.

“We have no immediate plans to increase the cover price of i once the deal is complete,” said Johnston Press head of PR Jane Muirhead. “The fact we’re not increasing the cover price means we won’t be in a position to change retail terms.”

Richard Thomson, marketing operations and content sales director, said: “We are acutely aware of what factors have made this brand the success it’s been to date and therefore understand the importance of price point.”