Newbury Weekly News acquired by joint venture

The 152-year-old Newbury Weekly News has been purchased by a Joint Venture company, Newbury News and Media Ltd, which has been formed by Edward Iliffe and Peter Fowler.

Newbury Weekly News acquired by joint venture
James Gurney: “I am delighted that the paper will remain independent.”

The sale of Newbury News Ltd was formally completed on 1st May 2019.

The family-owned Newbury Weekly News has served the community of West Berkshire since 1867 and incorporates the website newburytoday, free weekly newspaper The Newbury and Thatcham Advertiser and quarterly magazine Out & About.

The Newbury Weekly News has been owned by the same family since its early beginnings and moved its printing to Iliffe Print Cambridge last year after it made the difficult decision to close its own press in Newbury.

The purchase is a joint venture between Edward Iliffe and experienced publisher Peter Fowler under the umbrella of the newly-formed Newbury News and Media Ltd. It is intended to integrate the JV within Iliffe Media Group’s operations.

Iliffe Media Group was formed in September 2016 with the launch of the Cambridge Independent and over the past 3 years has completed a number of acquisitions including 13 titles from Johnston Press, the KM Media Group, and most recently the Newark Advertiser.

Newbury News Ltd chief executive James Gurney said: “The Newbury Weekly News is a successful and much-loved title and Edward Iliffe lives right here in Yattendon, in the heart of West Berkshire. I am delighted that the paper will remain independent. Over the past ten years the industry has become increasingly challenging for smaller independently owned local newspaper publishers. The completion of this deal will allow us to plug into a larger group where there are opportunities to share resources and ideas, as well as to invest in exciting new initiatives that will help ensure we continue to engage with the local community, producing exceptional content that covers our entire diverse area.”

Edward Iliffe, chief executive of the Iliffe Media Group, said: “We are delighted to have concluded the acquisition of these well-respected local newspapers. Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent family-run media business, believes in the future of local newspaper publishing across all platforms and we now look forward to working in a positive way with our new colleagues and the communities they serve. I am also pleased to have the association with Peter Fowler in this new venture in Newbury. Peter has worked with the Iliffe family for many years and brings with him a wealth of publishing experience.”

The acquisition has been overseen by media industry adviser David Fordham, who has worked on all of the Group’s previous acquisitions, and is also a non-executive director of Iliffe Media Ltd.