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March 12, 2018

Newsquest completes takeover of family-run CN Group as shareholders approve buyout

By Freddy Mayhew

Newsquest has today completed its takeover of family-run regional publisher CN Group after shareholders unanimously approved the buyout.

The deal was struck last month, for an undisclosed amount. Its completion today brings to an end four generations of Burgess family leadership of the Carlisle-based group.

Shareholders had been recommended to agree the takeover, with board members saying the publisher would be “better protected as part of a larger, scaled operation”.

CN Group publishes seven newspaper titles – including daily the Carlisle News & Star – and four magazine titles.

Henry Faure Walker, chief executive of Newsquest, said: “CN Group has a portfolio of great local news and magazine brands, run by talented and committed staff.

“Despite their best efforts, the company has been loss making for the last couple of years, held back by its pension deficit and the aggressive structural change that has undermined the economics of traditional newspaper publishing.

“We will be working with the CN team in the coming months on a plan to get the business back onto a stronger financial footing and in so doing secure its long term future.

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“We will bring benefits of scale, particularly in activities such as production, purchasing, technology and digital marketing services, enabling them to continue to excel at what they have done so well for many years – delivering first class journalism and great advertising solutions for local people and local businesses.”

CN Group employs 324 people and has offices in Carlisle, Barrow, west Cumbria and Hexham.

The company can trace its links back to 1815 and the first publication of The Carlisle Patriot, the forerunner of The Cumberland News.

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