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New Media buying Morris Publishing newspapers, related assets

New Media Investment Group Inc. struck a deal to buy newspapers and related assets from Morris Publishing Group LLC for $120 million.

The deal includes many of the Morris portfolio of U.S.-based newspaper assets located across Georgia, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Alaska, the company said Aug. 9. New Media is buying 79 publications, including all 11 dailies and Morris' Main Street Digital group, substantially all weekly and niche print products and all related websites and digital operations.

New Media is funding the transaction with cash on the balance sheet and expects it to be highly accretive to free cash flow with net synergies of $10 million to 15 million. The deal is expected to close early in the fourth quarter.

William Morris III, chairman of Morris Publishing, will continue to serve as publisher of The Augusta Chronicle and will oversee editorial-page policy for the three Morris newspapers in Georgia.

Moorgate Securities and Avondale Communications acted as financial advisers to Morris Publishing Group in connection with this transaction.