Danish media have reported for some time that the freesheet that once forced the costly Danish freesheet war is struggling to find new investors to help foot the bill of running the paper, a prerequisite for part of the management to continue in their roles. The lack of guaranteed future funding is also supposed to be the reason why the accounts are delayed. But even though Nyhedsavisen missed the big deadline, a last minute rescue is still possible.
The management has refused to comment on recent developments, but last night the freesheet’s current majority owner, Morten Lund, a former early stage investor in Skype, tweeted: “Today [Monday] was a day beyond aII days (exept having kids) - I have one word for you: WOW!” That doesn’t really sound like a downtrodden and defeated man fighting for his newspaper’s survival, but if the freesheet is forced to close it would be welcome news for main competitors Mecom, JP/Politiken and Metro International. Only yesterday, Metro, which publishes freesheets across the, globe reported a bigger-than-expected 83 per cent fall in quarterly operating earnings, hit by weak sales and advertising, and Denmark was singled out as one of the most problematic markets (Newspaper Innovation has the full figures).
Update (15pm CET): news just broke that Nyhedsavisen has doubled its share capital (from 10-20m DKK) by converting debt, which means Icelandic Stodir Invest may have parted with the company and the ownership structure been changed. 'Morten Lund and the Icelandics came to an agreement last night. I have signed the accounts and we will not be liquidated," Morten Nissen Nilsen, the company's MD, told Ritzau, via Berlingske (which means that tweet I quoted might have been key to what's just happened)
Update 23/7: in a press release published on his blog (in Danish), Morten Lund said he still holds majority control in the newspaper company, and that the annual accounts will be submitted on Thursday morning.