NEWSQUEST has expanded its presence in the UK by acquiring news publisher Romanes Media Group for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees the owner of The Herald taking on an additional 29 newspapers and associated websites.

Romanes, which is believed to have a turnover in the region of £20 million, can trace its roots back to the foundation of the Dunfermline Press in 1859.

Its other Scottish newspaper titles include the Greenock Telegraph, Clydebank Post, Ayr Advertiser, Irvine Times, Cumnock Chronicle, Helensburgh Advertiser and Dumbarton Reporter.

Romanes, which has its headquarters in Clydebank, also owns the Impartial Reporter in Northern Ireland as well as the Reading Chronicle and other titles in Berkshire, England.

Along with those it has a portfolio of magazine titles and operates the Your Radio station which broadcasts across Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Vale of Leven and Inverclyde.

Discussions on the transaction are thought to have been taking place for several months and Newsquest expects the deal to boost earnings in the current financial year.

Henry Faure Walker, chief executive of Newsquest, said: "Newsquest is focused on building one of the leading local multi-media publishing businesses in the UK, and I am delighted to welcome Romanes Media Group to the company.

"We operate in separate markets but this portfolio of good quality weekly titles provides a strong fit with plenty of opportunity."

Mr Faure Walker, who visited the Reading Chronicle offices yesterday, also confirmed he did not envisage any reduction in reporting or advertising sales roles as a result of the deal. Romanes employs around 270 people.

The two groups don't operate in overlapping markets so the deal appears unlikely to attract attention from the competition authorities.

According to its most recently available set of accounts at Companies House, Romanes made a pre-tax profit of £1.64m on turnover of £18.1m in the 12 months to September 28, 2013.

The group was named after the former owner of the Dunfermline Press Deirdre Romanes, who died in 2010.

That newspaper was founded by the Romanes family but grew to own dozens of other titles including a £10m purchase of its Berkshire titles from Trinity Mirror in 2007.

The assets of the Dunfermline Press company were bought by its directors in 2012 following a pre-pack deal with insolvency professionals from accountancy firm PwC.

At that time main creditor Lloyds Banking Group also did a debt for equity swap.

The following year it emerged that Goldman Sachs and Texas Pacific had bought out the Lloyds stake.