Key Capital plots Post sale

Key Capital plots Post sale

Private equity firm says received approaches for assets

Key Capital have put Sunrise Media, the publishers of The Sunday Business Post and owner of the printing company Webprint, up for sale.

Key, the private equity firm founded by Conor Killeen, acquired the newspaper almost five years ago following the collapse of its then parent Thomas Crosbie Holdings.

In a statement Key said that it had appointed corporate financiers at BDO to handle the sales process. The finance house said it made the appointment after receiving a takeover approach.

“Key Capital acquired the Sunday Business Post and Webprint at times when the businesses were in financial difficulty. The performance of both businesses has been turned around. We are happy with current trading and are excited about the group’s prospects” said Colin Morgan, the chief executive of Key Capital in a statement.

Colin Morgan, the chief executive of Key Capital

“We have received an approach in relation to Sunrise Media. It is in this context that we have appointed BDO Corporate Finance to examine the strategic options for Sunrise Media, which may include a sale of all or part of the business.”

The potential sale comes at a time when the Irish media is facing consolidation in the wake of falling newspaper sales and a weak advertising backdrop. Landmark Media, the Cork-based owner of the Irish Examiner is close to a takeover by the Irish Times, although the future of Landmark’s regional papers is unclear.

“While the integration of those two venerable titles would devour a lot of management time, they could see the rare opportunity to add a Sunday broadsheet to the stable as too irresistible to pass on,” Investec Bank analyst Philip O’Sullivan wrote in a research note this morning, adding that further mergers were inevitable.

The most recently filed accounts for The Sunday Business Post, for the year to the end of June 30, 2015, show a profit of €78,801 compared with losses of €628,273 for the previous year.

Any takeover involving a media entity will require the approval of the competition watchdog and the communications minister.

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