Group makes progress in purchase of Maine papers

Posted Dec. 11, 2008, at 12:27 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — An investment group says it is making progress in securing financing and remains confident that it can buy Blethen Maine Newspapers by year’s end.

Maine Media Investment LLC signed a purchase agreement last month to buy Blethen Maine’s assets, which include the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville for an undisclosed price.

Richard Connor, senior operating partner in the investment group, says he’s telling potential lenders that growth opportunities for small and regional newspapers like those in Maine are different from those of national newspaper chains saddled with high debt.

The Seattle Times Co., parent company of Blethen, announced plans in March to sell its Maine media holdings.

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