Swedish Paper Owner Takes a Stake in Publisher Johnston Press


This news item was originally published here.

A Scandinavian paper owner has taken a stake in the debt-laden publisher of the I, Johnston Press.

Custos, which owns the totally free Swedish title Metro, exposed in a stock market filing it has constructed a 5.1 pc holding, ranking it in Johnston Press’s leading 6 investors.

The move is most likely to sustain speculation over the fate of Johnston Press, which is defending its future under the danger of a default on its ₤ 220m financial obligation stack. Its bonds are due for payment in 2019 and credit rankings companies say it will not have the ability to refinance due to difficult conditions in the local paper market that represent most of its earnings.

Johnston Press, which has a stock exchange assessment of just ₤ 10.6 m, is rather looking for a monetary restructuring that might see its loan providers take control in exchange for a minimized financial obligation problem. The procedure is likewise considered as a possible driver for a merger with another paper publisher.

Custos purchased Metro and its sites previously this year for ₤ 4.7 m and states its business have a turnover of more than ₤ 50m. The mutual fund is managed by Christen Ager-Hanssen, a 55-year-old Norwegian investor based in London who made and lost a fortune in the dotcom boom and bust.

He was later associated with spending plan airline company debt consolidation along with the kid of Dame Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress, and previous Westminster council leader.

Johnston Press stated at its half-year monetary report recently that following conversations with investors and loan providers it was looking for assistance for reorganizing from the trustees of its ₤ 600m pension fund.

Custos and Johnston Press were not readily available for remark.