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Ray Tindle increases stake in Johnston Press

Local newspaper owner invests more in struggling newspaper group.

Sir Ray Tindle, newspaper publisher and owner, has increased his stake in Johnston Press by a percentage point after purchasing a further 600,000 shares in the company.

He now owns a stake of 8 per cent of the Edinburgh based group, making him their third largest shareholder.

The company, which owns the Scotsman and several other titles, has been trading at less than 10p for the past year.

Tindle now holds 51.2 million shares with a market value of £3.1 million at the current price of 6p.

He said: "I know they've got problems, everyone knows that, but they will survive the problems and you will find that they've got good titles."

Circulation at the Scotsman has fallen over the past year to 38,000. The chief executive of Johnston Press, Ashley Highfield, announced plans switch to "platform neutral" content, with investment in both print and online publishing, and to save money by changing daily titles to weeklies. Johnston Press announced relaunches of all their 170 titles in April this year.

The Tindle Newspaper Group publishes more than 220 local titles. Tindle is a strong believer in ultra local journalism. Asked by the BBC if a buy-out of Johnston Press was on the cards, he said "that would be wonderful, but not possible".