NEW YORK, N.Y., April 16, 2003 - Dow Jones announced today that its Ottaway Newspapers subsidiary has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Record of Stockton, CA, from Omaha World-Herald Company.
The purchase includes assets and certain assumed liabilities of The Record and all affiliated publications ("The Record Group") for a cash purchase price of $144 million, plus net working capital. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2003.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Omaha World-Herald Company in the transaction.
The Record is the leading daily newspaper serving the fast-growing city of Stockton and surrounding San Joaquin County in Northern California's Central Valley, one of the fastest growing markets in California. The Record has daily paid circulation of 59,271 and Sunday circulation of 72,698.
Peter R. Kann, chairman and CEO of Dow Jones, said: "The acquisition of The Record is an exciting next step in our Business Now strategic plan priority to enhance our Ottaway Newspaper portfolio. With this acquisition, we will redeploy a sizable portion of the proceeds from last year's divestiture of five less strategic, slower growth newspapers, replacing a similar portion of their revenue and earnings with a more strategic and exciting new growth platform in fast-growing San Joaquin County. With its strong growth prospects, financial potential and history of more than 100 years of service to its community, The Record is an outstanding addition to Ottaway and Dow Jones. We are very pleased that The Record and its employees will be joining our publishing family."
John Gottschalk, chairman and CEO of the Omaha World-Herald Company, said the company embarked on a strategic effort to invest significantly in its newspaper presence in the Midwest in the last few years. "We leave Stockton with gratitude -- to The Record's employees and to the community which supported and enabled our growth. Ottaway Newspapers is a top-flight newspaper company. We are confident they will continue to be good stewards of the The Record's long service to the San Joaquin Valley."
Danforth W. Austin, chairman and CEO of Ottaway Newspapers said: "We are pleased to welcome The Record Group to our high quality and highly profitable portfolio of community newspapers. The Record operates in an attractive market, with above-average population and retail growth. We look forward to working with its employees, customers and the communities it serves to continue its success and tap its full growth potential."
With the acquisition, Ottaway will publish 15 daily newspapers with companion web sites and 17 weekly newspapers in nine states. In addition to the Ottaway group of community newspapers, Dow Jones & Company publishes The Wall Street Journal and its international and online editions, Barron's magazine, Dow Jones Newswires and Dow Jones Indexes.