The Iliffe family of Coventry were initially ribbon manufacturers before moving into printing and stationery in the 1840’s. The family’s first magazine publishing venture was “The Cyclist” launched by William I. Iliffe in 1879, and this was followed by “The Autocar” in 1895. He founded his first newspaper, The Midland Daily Telegraph – now The Coventry Telegraph – in 1891.
The Group’s head office is based in Yattendon Village which forms the heart of the Yattendon Estate in Berkshire. The Estate was created through the amalgamation of a number of smaller estates acquired by the first Lord Iliffe between 1925 and 1940 and Yattendon Estates became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group in 2003. Today, the Estate comprises 9,000 acres of farmland, woodland and grazing and is renowned as one of the UK’s largest producers of Christmas trees.
Around the same time as the Iliffe family was investing in land and property in the UK, it was also investing in British Columbia. Since 1925, the Group has operated a property management and development business in Vancouver trading as Westminster Management Corporation (WMC) and its predecessor companies. WMC has established a Can $160m property portfolio through direct ownership, limited partnerships and joint ventures in British Columbia and west coast USA.
Following the sale of the Birmingham Post and Coventry Telegraph, the Group added the fourth leg to its business when it acquired Marina Developments Ltd (MDL). MDL was founded in the 1970s and listed on the stock market in 1985. Yattendon Group initially became a shareholder but took the Company private in 1992 through the acquisition of the remaining shares held predominantly by institutional investors. Under private ownership MDL has expanded its marina network and developed its customer offering to become Europe's leading marina operator. MDL currently owns and operates 20 marinas in the UK, Spain and Italy, comprising more than 7,000 berths and is pursuing expansion opportunities through the development of both new and existing sites.
In November 2012, the shareholders of Yattendon Group Plc announced the sale of its regional and local newspaper business, Iliffe News & Media to Local World, a newly formed media group created from the media assets of Iliffe News & Media and of Northcliffe, the regional publishing arm of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT). The Yattendon shareholders hold a 21.3% shareholding in Local World and are the second largest shareholders after DMGT.
We believe that the new investment and the combination of Northcliffe and Iliffe titles will create a strong media business dedicated to the provision of first-class local content and advertising sales solutions. Local World will harness its proven publishing capabilities with new technologies to provide audiences – both print-readers and online consumers – with high quality, reliable and useful content in whatever format they choose. These plans and the substantial investment reflect the confidence of Local World’s shareholders in the future of local media.
Yattendon group has retained its state of the art printing press in Cambridge and is producing full colour newspapers to award winning quality in the most cost efficient manner to a wide range of clients.