PORTLAND (AP) – An investment group says it won’t be able to finalize its purchase of Blethen Maine Newspapers by year’s end, but remains confident it will secure needed financing and complete the deal early next year.

Maine Media Investment LLC and Blethen Maine Newspapers had previously set Wednesday as a target date for the sale.

Richard Connor, senior operating partner in the investment group, says Maine Media and Blethen Maine Newspapers have agreed to extend their purchase-and-sale agreement for about 30 days to conclude the purchase. He attributed the delay to holiday scheduling complications and disruptive winter weather.

Blethen Maine’s assets include the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville.

The Seattle Times Co., parent company of Blethen, announced plans in March to sell its Maine media holdings.

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