AUGUSTA, Ga. - Morris Publishing Group announced Tuesday that it has signed a definitive asset purchase agreement to sell 14 daily newspapers, three nondaily newspapers, a commercial printing operation and other related publications to GateHouse Media, Inc. for $115 million, subject to a working capital adjustment.
The Brainerd Dispatch, a Morris property, was not among the newspapers included in the sale.
Morris will utilize all of the net cash proceeds from the sale to pay down the debt outstanding under its bank credit agreement. The transaction is expected to close before the end of November and is subject to regulatory and Morris' lender approval and customary closing conditions.
The daily newspapers to be sold include the Dodge City (Kan.) Daily Globe, the Newton (Kan.) Kansan, the (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun, the Hillsdale (Mich.) Daily News, the Holland (Mich.) Sentinel, the Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post, the (Independence, Mo.) Examiner, the Grand Island (Neb.) Independent, the York (Neb.) News-Times, the Daily Ardmoreite (Okla.), the Shawnee (Okla.) News-Star, the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press & Dakotan, the Oak Ridger (Tenn.) and the News Chief (Winter Haven, Fla.).
The non daily newspapers include La Estrella (Dodge City, Kan.), the Girard (Kan.) City Press and the Vermillion (S.D.) Plain Talk. The commercial printing operation is Flashes Publishing (Mich.), which also publishes the Holland Sentinel and the Flashes Shopping Guides (Mich.).
"While it is difficult to say goodbye, this sale is in line with our strategic plan to focus on our larger markets and will enable us to pay down our existing bank debt," said William S. Morris IV, Morris' chief executive officer and president. "We greatly appreciate the work by the employees of these great newspapers during the time they've been a part of Morris."
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