• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Johnston Press deal provides breathing space

NEWSPAPER publisher Johnston Press has reached an agreement to reset its financial covenants, which should give it more ­breathing space as it begins work on renegotiating its £300 million debt pile.

The company hailed the deal with creditors such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland as putting it on a "stable financial platform" although the exact details were not made public.

The reset financial ­covenants will now run until Johnston Press's debt ­facility reaches maturity in September 2015.

The media business, which owns The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, also confirmed it would be opening talks on renegotiating its debt in 2014.

Investment bank ­Rothschild has already been appointed to provide advice during the process.

Ashley Highfield, ­Johnston Press chief executive, said: "I am pleased with the ongoing support shown by our lender group in providing a clear path for the continued pursuit of our operational strategy, which has shown very encouraging developments in 2013.

"We plan to refinance the group in 2014 and will continue to work closely with our lenders and their financial advisers for that process.

"A stable medium-term capital structure will support the acceleration of our digital growth strategy and would expedite the projected return to overall top line growth."

Mr Highfield previously indicated Johnston Press could get as much as £25m back if it paid off its loans during 2014. He may also approach the bond market as he believes that could cut interest rates from around 14% to between 8% and 9%.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.