Daily Mail owner buys i newspaper for £50m

The i newspaper

The owner of the Daily Mail, DMGT, has bought the i newspaper and website for £49.6m from JPI Media.

DMGT chairman Lord Rothermere said the paper was “a highly respected publication with a loyal and engaged readership”.

“We are committed to preserving its distinctive, high-quality and politically independent editorial style.”

The Competition and Markets Authority will have to approve the deal.

In 2018, the i reported an operating profit of £11m from £34m in sales.

The deal means that the paper will have its fourth owner in as many years.

The sale was attacked by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said in a tweet that two billionaires now owned half the UK’s top 10 daily newspapers.

‘Time-poor’ readers

The i was first launched in 2010 as a sister paper to the Independent and sells for 65p on weekdays and £1.20 on Saturdays.

When it first hit the newsstands, executives at the company said it was aimed at “time-poor newspaper readers”, especially commuters, who lacked the time to read a quality newspaper on a regular basis.

At its launch, it shared the same editorial staff as its sister paper and was seen as a way of extending the Independent’s brand to a new market.

But in 2016, the Independent closed its print edition and the i was sold for £24m to Johnston Press.

Despite this, links to the paper’s former parent remained, with the i continuing to provide a print home for some of the Independent’s now otherwise digital-only content.

Changing hands

In November 2018, the i changed hands again, after Johnston Press which was bought out of administration by JPI Media.

DMGT had been mulling the purchase for at least a year, but was beaten by JPI Media’s deal with administrators.

Johnston Press was one of the largest local and regional newspaper organisations in the UK with a history dating back more than 250 years, but it had debts of £220m.

The deal leaves JPI with The Scotsman and Yorkshire automate your posting among its biggest titles. In total, it owns about 200 newspaper brands.


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