ISLE of Wight County Press shareholders are being recommended to accept a takeover by Newsquest Media Group, publishers of many regional papers including the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton.
The Isle of Wight County Press Group board is urging shareholders to accept the offer, which they have been advised is a fair one and one that properly reflects the value of the group.
Newsquest Media Group is one of the largest publishers of local newspapers in the UK. It publishes an impressive range of newspapers and websites and has extensive digital publishing expertise as well as well-equipped newspaper printing facilities.
On behalf of the board, Robin Freeman, chief executive of the Isle of Wight County Press Group, said: "The board of the IWCP Group strongly believe that this is the best way forward for our group of companies. "
It provides access to the skills, knowledge and expertise that we need in order for us to be able to adapt and change the existing businesses to meet the opportunities and challenges of the new media landscape that we face.
"Newsquest is a very well-respected and highly professional group and I very much hope the next chapter of the CP’s life will be as part of its group.
"The directors are unanimous in recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer.
"These are exciting times for us all and, if approved, this arrangement will provide a sound future for the group’s excellent products and services.
"I strongly believe that it will be very good news for the local community, economy and for local democracy on the Isle of Wight.
"Newsquest is strongly committed to maintaining the editorial independence and integrity of the Isle of Wight County Press newspaper and special arrangements will be put in place to safeguard this if the offer is accepted by shareholders. Support for the local community is something that is also important to both companies and this will be maintained."
Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest’s chief executive, said: "We look forward to the opportunity of working with the Isle of Wight County Press, its staff and the community it represents, in building on their success as one of the country’s strongest local news brands and helping them forge a strong and sustainable future."
The shareholders’ decision is expected in approximately four weeks.