The company says, subject to shareholder approval, a conditional agreement to sell the entire issued share capital of Johnston Publishing East Anglia Limited has been reached with Iliffe Media.
Titles affected include the bi-weekly Lynn News, as well as weekly papers in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Rutland and Suffolk.
The disposal is in line with the group’s previously stated strategy to focus its business on core titles in selected geographic markets with a view to reducing net debt.
Ashley Highfield, pictured above left, Johnston Press chief executive, said: “This disposal marks a major milestone in our divestment strategy and puts us firmly on the path of refocusing our activities on areas with the greatest growth potential.
“The disposal will also reduce our net debt whilst putting us on a stronger footing.
“I would like to thank the staff based at these Titles for their hard work and loyalty over the years and we wish them well for a successful future.”
The newspapers affected are the Bury Free Press, Bourne Local, Diss Express, Fenland Citizen, Lincolnshire Free Press, Grantham Journal, Haverhill Echo, Lynn News, Newmarket Journal, Rutland Times, Suffolk Free Press, Spalding Guardian and Stamford Mercury.
Iliffe will operate the titles in two units based on their geography.
Ricky Allan, currently managing director of the Cambridge Independent, will take additional responsibility for the titles in Bury, Newmarket, Diss, Haverhill and Sudbury.
Richard Parkinson, a former regional managing director of Johnston Press, will be joining Iliffe in early January and will take up the new role of managing director (Midlands), responsible for the acquired titles in Kings Lynn, Wisbech, Spalding, Grantham, Stamford and Rutland.
Chief executive Edward Iliffe said: “We are delighted to have acquired these well-respected local newspapers. Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent family-run media business, firmly believes in the future of local newspaper publishing across all platforms. We’re looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues.
“We see the addition of these titles to be a natural extension and good geographical fit to the recently launched Cambridge Independent, a weekly printed and daily online publication serving the city of Cambridge.
“Iliffe’s commitment to the sector is further demonstrated by its desire to print its expanded portfolio of newspapers on its own press in Cambridge.”
In August, JP completed the sale of its three papers on the Isle of Man to Tindle for £4.25m.