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Business: Folkestone Herald and Dover Express owners agree to sell newspaper titles to Kent Messenger

Contributed by editor on Jul 25, 2011 - 06:09 PM


It has been announced today (25 July) that Northcliffe Media which publishes the Folkestone Herald and Dover Express is set to sell them and a number of its weekly titles throughout Kent to rival publisher the KM Group.

The sale could face competition problems and the KM Group is making a formal submission to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about its plans to buy the papers.

The proposed acquisition will now be subject to a 40-day investigative process by the OFT. It will be viewed by all regional publishers as a test case to see whether greater consolidation will be allowed under current rules.

By merging the two newspaper portfolios, it would substantially enhance KM's control of print and online news outlets across Kent.

In a statement, the KM Group said the news had been announced to staff in both organisations at lunchtime today.

Northcliffe Media titles affected by the proposed acquisition include the Medway News, East Kent Gazette, Herne Bay and Whitstable Times, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Thanet Times, Folkestone Herald and Dover Express.

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