Heritage Partners Invests in Enterprise NewsMedia, Owners of The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise

04/07/2003

BOSTON — Heritage Partners, Inc. announced today its investment in Enterprise NewsMedia LLC, which owns The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise, two dominant suburban daily newspapers south of Boston. Headquartered in Quincy, Mass., Enterprise was founded in 1996 to acquire and manage a collection of community newspapers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Besides The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise, Enterprise NewsMedia owns MPG Newspapers, a holding company for nine award winning weekly newspapers. All newspapers are strategically clustered in the attractive south of Boston regional market with compelling demographics. The newspapers have long established franchises with strong identities in the communities they serve.

James F. Plugh, CEO of Enterprise, has more than 35 years of industry experience and was highly successful as a senior executive at Ingersoll Publications building a portfolio of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. Frank Richardson, a financial investor with extensive private industry experience who founded Enterprise with Plugh, will remain as chairman of the company.

Plugh said he welcomed Heritage Partners, Inc. of Boston as a new equity partner. “Heritage Partners has an unparalled reputation as respected investors in family owned businesses,” Plugh said. “We look forward to our partnership with Heritage and the opportunities it gives us to continue to improve and grow the newspapers we now own and to position the company for future growth through acquisitions,” he said.

“Our two daily and nine weekly newspapers will continue to serve their communities as they have for many, many years,” Frank E. Richardson, Chairman of Enterprise said. “Our new partnership with Heritage will insure that we continue and expand that service into the future,” he said.

Heritage Partners, Inc, with $1.4 billion in capital under management, has been active in providing growth equity capital to a diversified array of family-owned and closely-held businesses throughout North America since 1987. Michael Gilligan, a founding partner of Heritage, said, “We are very proud to be associated with these fine newspapers. The Patriot Ledger, The Enterprise and The Old Colony Memorial each have over 100 years of outstanding coverage of the South of Boston market. We have been looking at the privately-owned newspaper market for the past several years with an interest in identifying a platform investment in the industry, preferably in connection with an entrepreneur with industry experience. In Enterprise NewsMedia and Jim Plugh we believe we have found ideal candidates for each.

“The broad universe of private, family-owned newspaper companies is composed of many whose owners have a strong interest in liquidity and in teaming up with peer businesses in other regions of the country to derive mutual benefit from sharing best practices. We at Heritage are extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity we face with Enterprise in bringing several of those parties together under common ownership.”

In addition to the equity provided by Heritage, the company has also entered into new senior credit facilities with a group of banks headed by FleetBoston. Enterprise NewsMedia was represented by Berenson & Co. in the recapitalization.