Johnston get go-ahead on Archant acquisitions

THE publishers of The Scotsman newspaper have been given the go-ahead by the Office of Fair Trading competition authority to purchase a handful of newspapers owned by rivals, Norwich-based Archant.

It had been hoped the sale of eight titles to Johnston Press would go through at the start of the year, when the two companies agreed a price of just over £11m for, among others, The Buchan Observer, the Fraserburgh Herald and Ellon Times.

But then it became dependent on the opinion of the OFT.

The other titles involved were the Ayrshire Extra, Lanarkshire Extra, Paisley and Renfrewshire Extra, Glasgow Southside and Eastwood Extra, and the Bearsden, Milngavie and Glasgow Extra.

Two months ago, the OFT invited “interested parties to get in touch with any competition or public interest issues”.