Olswang's award-winning Corporate team have advised Yattendon Group, the private company owned by the Iliffe family, on the sale of the Iliffe News & Media business to Local World, a newly formed media group that will combine the Iliffe titles with those of Northcliffe Media, the regional division of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT plc).
As a result of this transaction, the Yattendon shareholders will become the second largest stakeholder in Local World after DMGT. The remaining shares will be purchased by other investors, including Trinity Mirror Group, Odey Asset Management and Artefact Partners. David Montgomery, former chief executive of Mecom, will become Chairman.
Local World will create a one-stop shop for all local content and commerce across all platforms. The combined product portfolio of 63 local portal websites has a monthly audience of over 7 million unique users. The print business includes 16 daily titles, 34 paid weeklies, 38 free weeklies, two Metro franchises and a number of niche products including magazines. Famous brands include the Cambridge Evening News, Leicester Mercury and Hull Daily Mail. The combined print portfolio has a weekly reach of 6 million people.
Lisa Gordon, COO of Yattendon, said: "Mark and his team at Olswang enabled this deal to happen. It was a complex transaction, involving a number of parties engaged in both buying and selling shares and assets, all of whom will have an ongoing relationship with each other as shareholders in the new company, Local World. The calm, professional manner and the expertise of the Olswang Corporate team across the board, not only ensured a successful outcome but also made it a very positive experience for everyone on the Yattendon team. I have worked with Mark on a number of previous transactions during my time at Chrysalis Group and have enormous respect for him and the whole Olswang team."
Corporate Partner Mark Bertram commented: "We are delighted to have advised Yattendon Group on the establishment of Local World, a local media business designed for the 21st century which will transform regional publishing. Local World is well positioned to meet the growing demand for local media and information in a fast changing digital media landscape."
Mark Bertram led the Olswang team with Corporate Associate Hannah Farrington, including Ben Taylor and Laura Taylor (Corporate), Mark Joscelyne and Robert Sartor (Tax), Joanna Adams (Employment), Andrew Campbell (Pensions), and Catherine Adam and Hemma Lad (Commercial).
Notes to editors
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Yattendon Group is a private company owned by the Iliffe family. The group is made up of four principle operating businesses covering a range of sectors including local media, agriculture, property and marine leisure. It has operations in the UK, Europe and Canada. The Group's strategy is to build, innovate and actively manage businesses in markets with good opportunity to create long-term value.