Dutch publisher PCM will buy from the Mecom newspaper group in Europe the 37 percent remaining interest in AD Nieuwsmedia (ADN) it does not already own, as well as the printing facilities of Mecom subsidiary Wegener in The Hague.
Mecom will use its earnings from the transaction to reduce its debt by about 27.5 million euros. Its current net debt stood at 566 million euros at the end of April, almost nine times its market value.
In a separate transaction, Mecom will buy PCM's Lokale Media, which publishes 27 weekly free door-to-door newspapers with a combined circulation of 1.1 million. The acquisition is for 1 euro, free of debt.
ADN was a joint venture formed in 2005 between Wegener and PCM. Two Wegener regional dailies and four PCM dailies - three regionals and one national - were combined under the new daily concept AD. Mecom acquired Wegener in 2007.
"We have exited a business whose ownership structure has proved an obstacle in its transformation to become a modern content company," said Mecom CEO David Montgomery. "At the same time, we have acquired a group of weekly papers that will strengthen our overall position in the region…"