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Murdoch pays JP £30m to escape print contract

Rupert Murdoch’s News International has paid £30m to regional publisher Johnston Press to get out of a long-term print contract.

Until last summer, the Murdoch-owned Sun and News of the World were printed under contract by JP at its plants in Portsmouth and Dinnington, near Sheffield.

However the closure of the NoTW in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal meant NI was paying for print capacity at Portsmouth which it no longer needed.

Now NI has agreed to pay Johnston £30m to terminate the contract, with the two companies now set to enter into a new agreement for The Sun to be printed at Dinnington.

The payment will go towards reducing JP’s debt liabilities which previously stood at around £350m.

No jobs will be lost as a result of the termination deal which was announced in a statement issued by Johnston Press this afternoon.

It read:  “Johnston Press plc, one of the leading multi-platform community media groups in the UK and Ireland, announces that it has reached agreement with News International in exchange for a payment to Johnston of £30m to terminate NI’s long term printing contracts at Johnston’s Dinnington and Portsmouth facilities.

“The Company and NI intend to enter into new long term arrangements in due course to utilise capacity at Dinnington.

“There is no planned headcount reduction at either facility as a result of this agreement and Johnston will explore new contract printing opportunities with immediate effect in order to maximise returns from the premium quality capacity at both Dinnington and Portsmouth.”


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  • July 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Nice short-term fix for JP to raise a few million quid, but not so encouraging for job prospects in the long term.

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  • July 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    No planned reduced head count…..for now. Sunderland got to be looking over their shoulder with increased capacity at Dinnington. Even Broughton got to be concerned. If nothing happens then heads will go at Portsmouth and Dinnington. Either way, job losses are inevitable. That’s the JP way. Then try to put a positive spin on it.

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