Management buyout for Clyde and Forth Press

THE publisher of the Greenock Telegraph newspaper has been taken over in a management buyout.

Clyde and Forth Press – a subsidiary of Dunfermline Press – has been taken over by its managing director, Graham Morrison, and Dunfermline Press finance director, Graham Faulds.

It, along with other trading companies under the Dunfermline Press ‘umbrella’ – such as Dunbartonshire-based Your Radio and newspapers in Berkshire – have been bought from Dunfermline Press, which was placed – principally because of debt – into receivership on Wednesday.

A non-executive chair, John Allwood, is also part of the buyout, which has been named Romanes Media Group, in tribute to the former owner of Dunfermline Press, Deirdre Romanes, who died suddenly two years ago.

The newspaper that goes by the same name – Dunfermline Press – is among various local newspapers in Scotland operated by Clyde and Forth Press, including the Helensburgh Advertiser and the East Lothian Courier, as well as the Greenock Telegraph.

It is understood that Lloyds bank has taken an 85 per cent stake (but just 19.5 per cent voting rights) in Romanes Media Group, insodoing writing off some of the debt that had been owed to it – down from £29million to £18.5million. Today, Morrison and Faulds visited offices in Scotland to assure staff ‘it’s business as usual’, that their contracts are unaffected by the development, because they are with the trading subsidiaries. Ditto, suppliers.

In a joint statement, Morrison, Faulds and Allwood said: “Having worked within the business for a number of years we are delighted to be able to participate fully in the future development of this business. We believe this is the start of a new chapter in the strategic development of Dunfermline Press.”