THE IRISH MANAGEMENT team of Celtic Media Group has bought the business for €5.5m, securing 125 jobs.
The company, which publishes the Anglo-Celt, Meath Chronicle, Westmeath Examiner and Westmeath Independent, will now be owned by a management team headed by chief executive Frank Mulrennan and finance director Frank Long. They take full ownership of the business, which was previously owned by Scottish-based investors including Dunfermline Press, after Lloyds bank stepped in with a €5.5m loan.
“We are delighted that Celtic Media Group’s newspapers and its printing and publishing businesses are now under the full ownership of Irish management,” said Mr Mulrennan. “Our group has consistently generated operating profits in the teeth of the recession but it suffered from a legacy debt burden that was unsustainable.”
This burden has been addressed fully and the group now has a financial structure that is appropriate to face the ongoing challenges presented by the current business environment.
The company returned to profit in 2009 after a pre-tax loss of €1.43m in 2008 after a round of redundancies saw printing, editorial and production staff go.