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Future uncertain for Sussex newspapers as owner announces sale

Johnston Press, the company that owns hundreds of newspaper titles across the UK as well as a considerable number of Sussex newspapers, has put itself up for sale.

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The owner of dozens of newspaper titles across the UK, Johnston Press has today (11 October) announced it is up for sale.

The company owns a large number of publications including the West Sussex County Times, Mid Sussex Times and the Crawley Observer. It also owns other well-known titles such as the i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post.

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The company has struggled in recent years due to the decline in sales of physical papers and ad revenue.

In a public statement released this morning, Johnston Press said it ‘has focussed on exploring all options available to it’ in relation to its outstanding £220 million which is due for repayment in June 2019.

The company, which owns about 200 titles, announced today that ‘it has decided to seek offers for the Company’.

The statement reads: “Since commencing the strategic review of financing options first announced in March 2017, the Company has focussed on exploring all options available to it in relation to its £220 million outstanding 8.625% senior secured notes due for repayment on 1 June 2019.

“Pursuant to this strategic review and in order to assess all strategic options to maximise value to its stakeholders, the Board of Johnston Press announces today that it has decided to seek offers for the Company.”

Later in the statement, it says: “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made for Johnston Press, nor that any transaction will be executed, nor as to terms of any such offer or transaction.”

It adds that the Board ‘reserves the right to alter or terminate the process’ and ‘reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party’ at any time.

Shares for the company stood as high as 6,055.63 GBX in March 2005 but today sit at just 3.40 – a dramatic decline of over 99%.

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The Harry Potter Shop™ lands at Gatwick North Terminal

London Gatwick has welcomed The Harry Potter Shop™ to its North Terminal.

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As the UK enjoys the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the new 614 sq ft store offers a fantastic selection of items from across the Wizarding World.

From gifts to clothing, souvenirs to collectibles, Gatwick’s latest addition will offer a unique experience for the airport’s global passenger mix. Over 46 million passengers travel through Gatwick each year, with the airport offering connections to over 220 destinations, including more than 60 long-haul routes.

Tyler Miles, 10, visits The Harry Potter Shop before heading off on holiday from Gatwick.

Amongst the great winter gifts that can be purchased are Harry Potter Christmas jumpers and a winter accessories set including hat, scarf and gloves. Wizarding World fans can even bag a personalised Hogwarts acceptance letter, mystery flying Snitch or – the ultimate must-have for any aspiring wizard or witch – their favourite character’s wand.

Jonathan Sands of The Harry Potter Shop™ said:

“We are so proud to open the newest of our official Harry Potter Shops at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Our aim is to create a unique shopping experience, offering the best of what the Wizarding World has to offer.”

Rachel Bulford, Head of Retail, London Gatwick said:

“I am thrilled to welcome such a popular and iconic brand to Gatwick. The Harry Potter Shop™ is a fantastic addition to the retailers at Gatwick as we continue to focus on providing great choice and value for our passengers through our mix of shops and restaurants.”

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