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Daily Mail owner to buy 'i' newspaper and website for 50 million pounds

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By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper on Friday said it would buy the “i” newspaper and website from JPI Media for a 49.6 million pound cash consideration.

The “i”, established as the cut-price national sister paper of The Independent in 2010, was bought by Johnston Press in 2016. The company was bought by bondholders last year after filing for bankruptcy protection, who formed JPI Media.

Daily Mail and General Trust <DMGOa.L> said that while the deal to buy the “i” provided opportunities for cost synergies, the publication would retain its editorial independence and distinctive tone.

The Daily Mail newspaper targets an older, more conservative readership than the “i”.

“The ‘i’ has a different editorial style and tone to the Mail and the audience has a different demographic. I want to make absolutely clear that we will ensure that the editorial independence of the ‘i’ is preserved,” DMGT Chief Executive Paul Zwillenberg said in a statement.

“Its readers value its distinctive style and politically neutral approach and we are committed to maintaining that.”

The “i” sells around 170,000 copies each weekday, 190,000 copies of its Saturday edition and has around 300,000 daily browsers on its website, DMGT said, adding that it generated 11 million pounds in cash operating income last year.

The Daily Mail has a circulation of around 1.1 million, according to industry statistics, the second most-bought newspaper after The Sun. DMGT’s popular MailOnline online offering had 12.7 million daily unique browsers in the first half of this year.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Kate Holton)