Agreement To Buy p.35

By: George Garneau Journal Register Co. agrees to buy Connecticut and Rhode Island newspapers from Capital Cities/ABC.

JOURNAL REGISTER CO. has agreed to buy the Milford (Conn.) Citizen and 44 nondailies in Connecticut and Rhode Island from Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
The previously reported deal (E&P, Feb. 18, pp. 13, 27) is expected to close within 60 days.
Terms were not disclosed. But Journal Register president and CEO Bob Jelenic said papers were being filed with the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, to comply with antitrust law governing acquisitions over $15 million.
Journal Register, based in Trenton, N.J., owns three Connecticut dailies, including its flagship New Haven Register and two papers in Rhode Island. Several of the properties it is buying are in areas where its dailies circulate.
Jelenic, who was in the process of introducing himself to employees at the papers being acquired, said he had made "no concrete decisions" about what to do with them.
"We will take our time and evaluate possible efficiencies," he said. "We'll have a better idea in about a month."
The deal, privately held Journal Register's fourth acquisition in 18 months, includes the Citizen's 6,700 daily circulation, 7,800 Sunday, and nearly 400,000 nondaily circulation among 24 paid weeklies, six free weeklies, 10 shoppers and four real estate publications.
The agreement also includes Imprint Printing, a commercial printer in North Haven, Conn.
Groups being acquired are Shore Line Newspapers, nine weeklies and four shoppers serving the central Connecticut coast; the Citizen and seven sister weeklies; Imprint Newspapers, 10 weeklies and three shoppers based in West Hartford, Conn.; Foothills Trader, three shoppers based in Collinsville, Conn.; Hartford, Conn.-based Gamer Publishing's four real estate publications; and Wilson Newspapers, four weeklies based in Wakefield, R.I.
In divesting its New England newspaper holdings, Cap Cities/ABC is also trying to sell the paid weeklies of Mariner Newspapers on Cape Cod
and the shoppers of Cape Cod Pennysavers in the suburbs south of Boston.
They are expected to be sold to the newspaper unit of Fidelity Capital, according to a report in the New England Press Association newspaper.
Cap Cities/ABC newspaper boss Phil Meek refused to confirm the report, except to say Fidelity was among the interested parties, and he expected an announcement shortly.
The divestitures do not mark a retreat from newspapers, he said. The papers being sold are simply too small to make sense for the broadcasting and publishing giant.
"We are interested in expanding in the daily newspaper business," he said.
Jelenic said Journal Register capped a strong 1994, in which its 4,000 employees at 15 dailies, two weekly groups, two commercial printers and a software company generated over $100 million in cash flow, defined as the sum of operating income, depreciation and amortization.
?(Journal Register Co. president and CEO Bob Jelenic, who was in the process of introducing himself to employees at the papers being acquired, said he had made "no concrete decision" about what to do with them.)


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