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Ex-Local World boss launches new company amid JPIMedia bid rumours

David MontgomeryA former regional press boss touted as a potential bidder for JPIMedia has officially launched his new publishing business with a pledge to “jettison legacy systems and archaic industrial practices.”

Ex-Local World chief executive David Montgomery, pictured, has announced the launch of National World, which is expected to be admitted to the London Stock exchange on Thursday.

Reports last month claimed David was set to launch a “relentless pursuit” of JPIMedia after the regional publisher was put up for sale.

A prospectus published in advance of National World beginning dealings on the FTSE describes the company as a “technology-driven news publishing business, which “aims to transform the sector through acquisition and partnership”.

David has already assembled a team of newspaper industry stalwarts including former Trinity Mirror chief operating officer Mark Hollinshead and chief financial officer Vijay Vaghela.

Vijay, who left Trinity Mirror’s successor company Reach plc in February, will have an executive role with the new company alongside David, while Mark, Steve Barber and John Rowe will serve as non-executive directors.

They are likely to be going up against their former employers in the battle for JPIMedia with Reach having previously confirmed its interest in “certain” assets of the business.

Reports last month claimed up to eight different firms were in the running to take over parts of JPIMedia – including Newsquest, Archant, Mediahuis and DMGT.

The creation of National World is set to mark a second foray into news industry consolidation for David who created Local World in 2012 from the former Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News and Media groups.

The business was sold for £187.4m three years later to Trinity Mirror, netting investors a 260pc return.

The new company prospectus states: “National World’s strategy will involve consolidation and transformation of publishing by combining digital technology and innovation with traditional print assets to grow revenues by aggregation of audiences and reduce costs via shared services.

“The strategy is also designed to accommodate services provision to industry partners as an alternative to a transfer of ownership and may involve contractual or corporate joint ventures.”

“The company’s management has been working together to create a strong platform and is focussed on a number of targets for acquisition and/or commercial partnerships.

“Future acquisitions are likely to be financed by the issue of further equity and, where appropriate, utilising conservative levels of debt.”

David, who holds the title of executive chairman, said: “Our objective is to create a modern platform for news publishing by implementing a new operating model, powered by the latest technology.

“National World will jettison legacy systems and archaic industrial practices to create efficient dissemination of news, monetising it by matching content to audience.

“With the relevant technology embedded in National World it is intended to deploy these capabilities across news publishing assets, whether acquired by the company or via partnerships.”

8 comments

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  • September 17, 2019 at 1:09 pm
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    “National World will jettison legacy systems and archaic industrial practices to create efficient dissemination of news, monetising it by matching content to audience.”
    Ominous words for anyone working in JPI Media.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 2:28 pm
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    I stood in a meeting in 2012 at which Mr Montgomery outlined his brave new Local World. I wonder how much of the plans to “jettison legacy systems and archaic industrial practices” depend on a Brexit bonfire of employment rights.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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    Buying a company at death’s door, because of debt and unable to raise equity to sort itself out, with equity and conservative levels of debt.

    Jettisoning the systems and working practices of a company that has been streamlining since 2008 and has got little left to trim.

    Matching content to users (dropping print?) when there is a reluctance to pay, subscribe or register. Particularly with a bunch of websites that are awful to use – in my opinion.

    That’s a done deal then!!

    I loved my time at JP. I wish everyone there luck. I’ll watch this sinking ship from the shore.

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  • September 18, 2019 at 10:20 am
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    First Local World, now National World; all Mr Montgomery’s company names seem, I’m sorry to say, to embody a contradiction in terms and, logically, will continue to do so until he eventually gets round to launching Global World. Couldn’t he just cut to the chase and call it the Legion of Doom, or something? That would certainly be more apt, given his stated aspirations.

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  • September 18, 2019 at 10:25 am
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    Is he planning to monetise JPI papers by allowing no content that isn’t actually paid for?

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  • September 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm
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    I seem to remember the same rhetoric being rolled out when I had the misfortune of being around for Local Worlds take over at Illiffe and where did that end up? Mostly padding a few peoples pockets down the line.

    All I can suggest to anyone still at JPI if this happens is to run in the opposite direction as quick as you can.

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