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Scottish businesssman among Local World backers

A businessman who previously chaired a pan-European newspaper group is one of the backers of the new regional publisher Local World, according to a newspaper report.

Scottish businessman Alasdair Locke worked as a previous chairman of Mecom, which was founded by Local World chairman David Montgomery, and he left the company soon after Montgomery’s departure from it in 2001.

Scotland on Sunday reports that he is one of the investors in Local World, which was formed in January with the merger of newspapers from the former Northcliffe Media with Iliffe News and Media.

Last month, the Office of Fair Trading finally cleared the deal to allow the merger of the two regional publishers under the Local World consortium.

It is understood that Mr Locke gained nearly £120m in 2007 from the sale of his Aberdeen-based oil and gas services company, Abbot Group, to a private equity firm.

Other investors include Daily Mail and General Trust, which previously owned Northcliffe and retains a 37.8pc stake in Local World, Yattendon plc with 21.3pc, Trinity Mirror with 20pc, hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and former Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft.