New Media Investment Group to acquire Halifax Media Group for $280 million in cash

New Media Investment Group announced it will be acquiring substantially all of the assets of Halifax Media Group for $280 million in cash, including The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and a dozen other papers that Halifax Media Group owns.

According to a company statement, Halifax owns 36 newspapers, including 24 dailies, and affiliated websites, with a daily circulation of about 635,000 and 752,000 on Sunday.

New Media Investment is the parent company of GateHouse Media New England, which owns and operates several Bay State regional daily newspapers.

“The Company is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by the number of daily publications. The Company operates in over 370 markets across 27 states.”

Michael E. Reed, New Media’s President and CEO commented:

“This is a very exciting day for our Company. Halifax Media is one of the premier, locally oriented media companies in the United States whose business fits extremely well within New Media. Michael Redding, Chief Executive Officer of Halifax Media, and his team have done a wonderful job building one of the best, local media businesses in the country, and we look forward to continuing their tradition of producing high quality, local content and products serving their communities.

“Halifax’s publications are all well-established, leading providers of local news in the communities they serve. The daily newspapers have demonstrated journalistic excellence and have been awarded multiple Pulitzer Prizes. Additionally, the acquisition further diversifies New Media’s business from both a geographic and customer standpoint. These markets also present a tremendous opportunity for New Media to expand its digital businesses, Propel and BestRide, as these markets expand our footprint of small and mid-size businesses we will be able to reach.

“I’m also pleased to announce that, not only is this acquisition transformative for New Media, it is accretive as well, and we’re excited to close the transaction. Once closed, we will have deployed approximately $430 million in local media assets in a little over one year. As we look toward 2015, we are excited to integrate Halifax’s publications into New Media’s business, and continue to successfully execute on our strong pipeline of other potential deals.”

New Media expects the deal announced today to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Halifax Media Group.