Nottingham newspapers sold

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The Independent Online
THE DAILY Mail & General Trust is paying almost pounds 93m in cash for T Bailey Forman, the privately owned company that owns the Nottingham Evening Post group of newspapers.

The price is substantially higher than the pounds 40m it was originally expected to achieve when the company was put up for sale earlier this year.

As one of the few large local newspaper groups still in private hands, it had found itself at the centre of a bidding war between Northcliffe Newspapers, the DMGT's local newspaper arm, Emap, and Midland Independent Newspapers, the recently quoted local newspaper group.

As well as the Post, which has a daily circulation of around 113,000, the group publishes a number of paid-for and free newspapers in the Nottingham area.

The size of the deal means it will have to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Completion is expected, subject to clearance, at the end of summer.

T Bailey Forman, which had profits of pounds 4.8m on turnover of pounds 24.8m in 1993 and net assets of pounds 8.1m, is owned by Forman Hardy Holdings, a private company.

Nicholas Forman Hardy, FHH's chairman, said his family's association with the Nottingham Evening Post dated back to 1878. 'The decision to sell the business has been a particularly difficult one to make for me and my fellow shareholders.'

Analysts said the purchase was an excellent geographical fit with the DMGT's existing local newspapers.

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