The South London Press, the Mercury, the London Weekly News titles, including the Westminster, Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicles, Kensington & Chelsea News and the Westminster & Pimlico News series as well as the View From series and Pulman’s Weekly News in Dorset, now pass into the hands of executives Philip Evans, Karen Sheppard and Hannah Walker.
However, Sir Ray insists the deal does not signal his retirement. He is now celebrating his 90th year and has no intention to stand back from front-line management. He says the sale is to ensure the long life of the papers which include some of the oldest in the country. The deal still leaves him with the ownership of approaching 200 titles across the country (plus percentages from 8% to 49% in more than another 200 papers making his interest in the local press still total more than 400 titles). He intends to remain hands-on, says the company.
In this unique deal Sir Ray also remains a 10% shareholder in the newspapers with Karen, Philip and Hannah holding equal shares of 30% each.