Johnston raises Portsmouth stake

JOHNSTON PRESS, the regional newspaper publisher, yesterday snapped up another 2.36 per cent of Portsmouth & Sunderland, taking its shareholding in the publishing and convenience store group to 17.35 per cent. Johnston paid 1,750p each for the shares, compared to the price of 1,600p it paid in January when it took a 14.99 per cent stake.

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission is investigating whether to allow Johnston, and its rivals Newsquest and News Communications & Media, to mount a full takeover bid for P&S. However, P&S last night retorted that 1,750p undervalues the company and advised shareholders to take no action.