29th October 2003

Express & Star bought Guernsey Press

Guernsey Press has had several names and several owners over the years. It was founded in 1897 as the Guernsey Evening Press. In 1951 it bought the Guernsey Star and changed its title to the Guernsey Evening Press and Star.

In 1999 its publisher, The Guernsey Press Company, merged with Jersey-based Guiton, the family firm that published the Jersey Evening Post. Guiton had been one-third owned by the Wolverhampton-based Claverley Group since 1975 and, when the Guiton family wanted to sell up, Claverley Group bought the remaining shares, giving it complete ownership of both papers.

Walter Guiton

The Guiton family had become involved in newspapers just a few weeks after the Jersey Evening Post had launched. The paper had been founded by HP Butterworth, who used Walter Guiton as his printer. Seeing an opportunity, Guiton bought the title and it remained in his family until 2003.

Speaking to the BBC shortly before the sale, Guiton Group chairman Frank Walker said that there were “very heavy and strong emotional links [to the paper] not just for me but for other members of my family. We are conscious of the fact that my family has been involved in the Guiton Group since its inception…”

However, the board recognised that Claverley Group’s offer was a good one and recommended to its shareholders that they voted to accept. Guiton Group was, at the time, listed on the AIM sub-market of the London Stock Exchange. This market is where smaller companies are traded.

Claverley Group had offered 280p per share for the company, valuing Guiton at £76m. The offer represented a premium of 30% on the value of the shares at the time it made the offer.

The sale was completed the following year.

 

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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st