CN Group has print, digital and event brands covering Cumbria, Northumberland, north Lancashire and the Scottish Borders.

The group publishes seven newspaper titles and four magazine titles. The sale is expected to be done after a shareholder meeting on March 9.

"The Board has taken the decision to end its independence because it believes that the long term future of the group, its staff and its pensioners is better protected as part of a larger, scaled operation," said a CN Group release on the sale.

The deal follows the sale of its two local radio stations to Global Radio in the fall.

“A member of my family has run this company for the past four generations so this sale is the end of an era and is tinged with sadness," said Robin Burgess, chairman of CN Group. "However, our ability to prosper as a medium sized independent group, in light of digital and social media developments, has become increasingly difficult and it is clear that the challenges will only get harder. Faced with these and other issues, including the pension deficit, we came to the conclusion that a sale of the publishing business is the best way forward for all our stakeholders."

Newsquest and London-based Trinity Mirror dominate much of the local newspaper industry in the U.K.

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