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Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today downgraded the ratings of UK local and regional media company Johnston Press plc ("Johnston Press" or "the company"), including the Corporate Family Rating ("CFR") to Ca from Caa3, the Probability of Default Rating ("PDR") to D-PD from Caa3-PD and the rating on the company's GBP220 million outstanding senior secured notes due 2019 issued by its subsidiary Johnston Press Bond Plc to Ca from Caa3. The downgrade follows the announcement on 16th November that the company has entered administration.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is exploring "technological" solutions to maintain a soft border in Ireland in place of a contentious backstop plan, to appease some Conservative Eurosceptic ministers. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party on Tuesday said that it will "of course" vote against the British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal in parliament next month, casting further doubts on its alliance with the Conservative party. French carmaker Renault SA on Tuesday appointed an interim leadership following the arrest of its boss Carlos Ghosn this week in Japan.
Facebook is donating 4.5 million pounds ($5.8 million) to train journalists in Britain to support communities that have lost local newspapers and reporters, in no little part due to ad revenue and readers switching online to the social media giant. Around 80 new trainee reporters funded by Facebook will be recruited by regional publishers Newsquest, JPIMedia, Reach, Archant and the Midland News Association, in a scheme overseen by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), Facebook said.
Facebook is donating 4.5 million pounds ($5.8 million) to train journalists in Britain to support communities that have lost local newspapers and reporters, in no little part due to ad revenue and readers switching online to the social media giant. Around 80 new trainee reporters funded by Facebook will be recruited by regional publishers Newsquest, JPIMedia, Reach , Archant and the Midland News Association, in a scheme overseen by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), Facebook said. Facebook said the two-year pilot - a global first for the platform - did not signal any move to start producing its own news content.
Financially struggling British newspaper group Johnston Press (JPR.L), publisher of The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, has been bought by its bondholders after filing for bankruptcy protection. "The transaction provides the group with a substantially de-levered balance sheet, new capital and a strong platform for its staff, operations and publications," JPIMedia, a company formed by the bondholders, said on Saturday. Johnston Press, which also publishes the "i" national newspaper, said in July it was exploring debt restructuring, before putting itself up for sale last month and then announcing on Friday that it would be bought by some its creditors.
Johnston Press, which owns papers including the i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, has been saved at the eleventh hour. Newly-formed company JPIMedia announced it had bought Johnston Press on Saturday after the publisher put itself into administration. As part of the transaction, creditors have agreed to inject £35m of new money into the business and reduce its net debt level by £135m.
Last month Johnston Press put itself up for sale after it reviewed its finiancial situation, which included a large debt repayment due next year. It said administration and subsequent sale to a group of companies controlled by the holders of the bonds was the best remaining option. "It will preserve the jobs of the group's employees and ensure that the group's businesses will be carried on as normal," Johnston Press said, adding that it hoped the transfer would be completed within 24 hours.
The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper has drawn up a plan to make an offer for the "i" title from Johnston Press after the struggling regional publisher put itself up for sale, Sky News reported on Saturday. Johnston Press, the publisher of The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post and "i", put itself up for sale in October as it labours under the weight of debt, pension obligations and deteriorating advertising conditions. Sky News said Daily Mail and General Trust is drawing up plans to make an offer for the "i", a sister title of the Independent which was sold to Johnston Press for 24 million pounds in 2016, when the Independent newspaper became a digital-only publication.