Aberdeen Independent 'will close' without new owner

The Aberdeen Independent is appealing for a new owner to save it from going bust as the paper’s management warns that the 12-year-old title could go out of business within a month.

Managing director Eric Farquharson made the plea last night after learning that the independently-owned free weekly could be forced to make its 30 staff redundant before the end of May.

He told Press Gazette he had spoken to ‘several interested parties’in the past few days – of national standing – but he was still interested to hear from local publishers or individual Aberdeen businessmen.

‘It’s a great pity, the Indy is very popular in the Aberdeen area, ‘he said. ‘It’s very close to breaking even, in fact it would break even if a publisher took it in-house. It also has the benefit of £5m tax losses for a buyer.

‘We’re a small independent newspaper and what we need is someone with a printing press – that would take it into profit. It’s so frustrating for us.”

While the paper has debts of £200,000, it has assets of around £300,000, said Farquharson.

The 54-page weekly has four journalists and has been named the free newspaper of the year in eight out of the last 10 years at the Scottish Newspaper Society Awards.

Farquharson added that if it does close ‘It will be done in an orderly way and it is our intention that everyone, including staff, will be paid in full”.

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