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Thomson Local bought out of administration 16 August 2013

Telephone directory business Thomas Directories has been rescue from administration via a pre-pack deal, safeguarding approximately 341 jobs.

The Hampshire-based company, which trades as Thomson Local, entered administration on Wednesday (14 August) following “steady deterioration” in financial performance.

Joint administrators Ian Corfield and David Dunckley were appointed to the directory services company and have secured a sale to Corporate Media Partners, the data provider to the 118 118 telephone enquiries line.

Corfield, partner at Grant Thornton, said: “Thomson is a prominent participant in the UK directories and advertising market and, under the Thomson Local brand, has a competitive edge in the industry.

“We have successfully secured the transfer of the business to its new owners, Corporate Media Partners Ltd, New Media Investment Solutions Ltd and Direct Research Company Ltd, promising a stable platform to face the challenges ahead.”

Thomson Local has faced declining turnovers as customers turn to digital directories, posting turnover of £52.82m in 2011, a 16.3% year-on-year drop, and net losses of £732,000, down from a profit of £3.5m in 2010.

Following the appointment of administrators, 170 staff were made redundant on Wednesday as certain business units and assets were acquired by Corporate Media Partners.

Thomson Local’s parent company, Italian directory group Seat Pagine Gialle, is facing its own debt problems, as is reportedly seeking a solution with creditors over its €1.5bn debt.

In July Yellow Pages parent company Hibu underwent a restructuring that will result in creditors taking ownership of the business.

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