American Hometown Publishing Inc., a growing local media company, announced today it has acquired Lake Norman Publications in North Carolina from Newsman LLC.Based in Davidson, N.C., Lake Norman Publications consists of three weekly newspapers, two monthly publications, and a website covering the region. The acquisition marks AHP's expansion into its fifth state with media ownership.
"Lake Norman is surrounded by some of the fastest-growing communities in North Carolina," said Brad Dennison, CEO of AHP. "Residents there are passionate about where they live and we look forward to matching that passion in our news coverage and service to advertisers."
In addition to North Carolina, AHP owns and operates community newspapers, websites and magazines in Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma.
AHP also operates its proprietary digital marketing services platform, Hometown Digital Solutions, which launched in 2016.
"AHP is a forward-thinking company with a clear commitment to journalism, community and employees," said Newsman CEO Craig Moon. "It's the ideal new home for our media group."
Lake Norman Publications is AHP's first acquisition since it was acquired by West End Holdings LLC in July 2017.
American Hometown Publishing Inc. announced today it has been acquired by Nashville-based West End Holdings LLC, and will immediately begin seeking additional local media properties to add to its portfolio.
Founded in 2005, AHP currently owns and publishes community newspapers, websites and magazines in four states. In addition, AHP operates its own proprietary digital marketing services platform, Hometown Digital Solutions, which launched in 2016.
"Our investment strategy identifies stellar management teams and provides them with the financial resources and support required to take their business to the next level," said Lyle Beasley, managing partner of West End Holdings. "We are excited to partner with an industry leader like Brad Dennison. He and his team are posting outstanding results while providing remarkable content, products and services to the communities they serve, and we look forward to their accelerated growth."
Dennison is a former journalist who worked his way through the newspaper ranks to become a top business executive at GateHouse Media Inc. He departed in 2015 to become CEO of AHP and has led a sharp turnaround of the company's revenues and profits.
"My vision was to blend the know-how of the large, publicly-traded newspaper conglomerates with a more patient, private setting where decisions can be made for the long haul, not just the current quarter," Dennison said. "We now have a formula that's fueling our business beyond expectations. The time is right for expansion and West End Holdings is the perfect partner for AHP's next chapter. I'm very proud to be working alongside them." West End Holdings has earned a reputation as a management-friendly, operations-focused acquirer, primarily focused on technology-enabled services businesses. AHP represents West End Holdings' first acquisition of a media business. “
AHP has positioned itself as a sanctuary for struggling independent newspaper owners who are looking for an exit, but care a great deal about how their community, and even their own legacy, will be served under new ownership," Beasley said.
"From our perspective, this is an industry in need of a positive, hopeful storyline, and we see AHP having almost unlimited growth opportunity." Industry veterans Clarissa Williams and Gregory McNutt will continue as AHP's COO and CFO, respectively. Lyle Beasleywill serve as Chairman, and Michael Petrak, an AHP director, will continue in an advisory role. Sherrard Roe Voigt Harbison PLC acted as legal advisor to West End Holdings. Miller & Martin PLLC served as legal advisor to the seller.