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Another newspaper bites the dust

Edda Media-owned Sarpsborgsavisa will cease publication 28 May, it was decided yesterday.

The freesheet is the third newspaper in the county of Östfold to see its owners pull the plug within less than seven days. Only last Tuesday, Norwegian newspaper group A-pressen announced it would close local newspaper Moss Dagblad and local freesheet Halden Dagblad with almost immediate effect.

Meanwhile, it is expected Mecom, Edda Media's mother company, will get yet another covenant test extension today - this one to the end of April. The media group headed by former Mirror boss David Montgomery has been struggling to to get its debt back within agreed limits for some time now (last time I checked the lending agreements dictated a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.25 and 3.75). The sale of Mecom Germany was completed yesterday, but this tidbit from Platforma Mediowa Point Group, one of the two companies who bid for the the Polish state's 49 pc stake in Presspublica, does not bode too well for the price Mecom can obtain from its majority stake in the company.


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