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White knight for P&S newspapers

A CONSORTIUM of investors led by Charles Villiers, former head of Scottish Radio's newspaper division, emerged yesterday as one of at least four potential white knights willing to rescue Portsmouth & Sunderland newspapers from Johnston Press. Talks have taken place with Charles Brims, the chief executive of P&S, and the consortium has the resources to top Johnston's offer, Mr Villiers said.

Johnston acquired a 14.99 per cent stake last Friday at 1,600p and has issued a tender offer at the same price for a further 10 per cent, which closes on Saturday. The shares were flat at 1,687.5p.