Journal Register to Acquire 21st Century


(AP) Journal Register Co., which owns 23 daily newspapers including the New Haven Register in Connecticut, is buying 21st Century Newspapers Inc., the owner of four daily newspapers in Michigan and 87 non-daily publications, for $415 million in cash.

Journal Register said Tuesday the purchase of the privately owned 21st Century Newspapers will make Michigan home to its second largest newspaper group, following its holdings in the greater Philadelphia area.

The dailies being acquired are The Daily Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, The Daily Tribune in Royal Oak, and The Morning Sun in Mount Pleasant. The four have a combined daily circulation of about 137,500 and a Sunday circulation of 176,000.

“Acquiring these award-winning suburban newspapers extends our footprint into some of Michigan’s most affluent and fastest-growing markets,” said Robert M. Jelenic, chairman, president and CEO of Journal Register.

The 87 non-daily publications have combined distribution of about 1.5 million.

The deal, which is subject to governmental approval, is expected to close in the third quarter.

Frank H. Shepherd, the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Newspapers, will stay with the company during a transition period and then serve as a consultant for five years.

He said he was pleased his employees will be part of a public company.

Shepherd owns Pontiac, Mich.-based 21st Century along with Kelso & Co. and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

The deal brings to 27 the number of daily newspapers and to 327 the number of non-daily publications owned by Journal Register, which is based in Trenton.

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