Johnston Press, the company which owns the i national newspaper and some 200 local titles - many with property supplements carrying agents’ advertisements - is for sale.
The move follows an 18-month review of the company’s operations in a bid to find a way to repay £220m in loans; the repayment deadline in next June.
The company, along with almost all local and national print media, has suffered significant print circulation losses in recent years: the sale puts in jeopardy the future of the company’s titles, including the i (which in isolation is regarded as highly profitable) and the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post.
Over the summer the company announced that underlying advertising revenues had fallen 15 per cent over the previous year, and classified ad sales dropped 28.5 per cent.
Even its digital advertising revenues were down by 7.4 per cent.
In 2012 it signed a deal with Zoopla, now ZPG, to supply property details for all of its local newspaper websites. At the time Johnston Press spent substantial sums advertising the partnership.