Johnston Press in discussions to buy i newspaper

Group says move would make it the largest print publisher

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The Independent Online

Johnston Press has announced that it is in "late stage discussions" to buy the i newspaper from Independent Print Limited for £24 million.

It said that a combination of its own local newspaper titles and the i would make it the UK’s fourth largest print publisher with over 600,000 paid for newspapers every day.

Steve Auckland, group chief executive of ESI Media confirmed the discussions and said: "At this stage no decision has been made. Johnston Press are bound by strict PLC guidelines so unfortunately we can make no further comment at this time.

"ESI Media remains committed to our brands, building on our fast growing global footprint, whilst cementing our place as the most important destination for audiences in the capital."

In a statement to the Stock Exchange announcing the talks, Johnston Press said the i made an unaudited "carve-out operating profit" of £5.2 million in the year to September 2015.