REACH PLC, the publisher of the Daily Record, has said it is in the early stages of discussions to buy certain assets of JPI Media, which owns the Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News.

It comes after Sky News reported earlier in the month that the owners of JPIMedia were in talks to sell the “i” newspaper and regional titles.

It was reported potential bidders for the i newspaper could include European media group Mediahuis, which took over Belfast Telegraph owner Independent News and Media earlier this year.

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The news sent shares in Reach up by as much as nine per cent in the immediate aftermath of the statement, settling back at 4.7% at 84.6p by 10am, then closing 1.5% down, at 79.8p.

Reach said in its statement: “The board of Reach plc notes the recent media speculation and confirms that it is in the early stages of discussions in relation to acquiring certain of JPIMedia’s assets.

“As has been previously stated by the company, regular consideration is given to merger and acquisition opportunities which would accelerate its strategy.

“There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will lead to an agreed transaction.

“A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

Johnston Press was renamed JPIMedia after being bought by its bondholders last year.

The firm also owns the Yorkshire Post.