Transcontinental selling 93 newspapers in Ontario and Quebec

Montreal-based printing company Transcontinental Inc. said Tuesday it is putting its 93 local and regional newspapers in Quebec and Ontario up for sale.

Company recently sold 28 newspapers in Atlantic Canada

Francois Olivier, the president and CEO of Transcontinental Inc., is shown here in this March 2015 photo. The company aims to remain the printer and distributor of 93 newspapers it has put up for sale in Quebec and Ontario. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Publisher Transcontinental Inc. said Tuesday it is putting its 93 local and regional newspapers in Quebec and Ontario up for sale.

Montreal-based Transcontinental said the list of publications on the block includes the Métro Montreal newspaper. The vast majority of the publications are based in Quebec. The Seaway News, which is based in Cornwall, is the only Ontario title included in the sale.

The company said the sale process will span several months, and will be managed by mergers and acquisitions experts at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

With the the sale of its media assets in Saskatchewan in 2016 and its properties in Atlantic Canada last week, the company also undertook a strategic review of its local newspaper publishing activities in Quebec and Ontario, François Olivier, the company's president and chief executive officer, said in a release.

"As a result of this analysis conducted over the past few months, we have decided to put TC Media's local and regional newspapers up for sale," Olivier said.

"We are convinced that selling these assets to local players is the best course of action in order to contribute to the continued sustainability of local media and to foster greater connections with the advertisers and communities they serve," he said.

Transcontinental said it plans to remain engaged in the newspaper business. The company plans to strike deals with potential buyers for the printing and distribution of the newspapers. It said it will also continue to publish newspapers that may remain unsold.

Transcontinental's move comes the week after it sold all of its news outlets in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador to SaltWire Network Inc., a newly created media group that publishes the Chronicle Herald in Halifax.