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Haynes Publishing, the company best known for producing hard-copy motorcycle and car manuals, has found a buyer three months after putting itself up for sale.

French media, information and service company Infopro Digital has agreed to pay £114.5 million for the business, putting the business into foreign ownership for the first time in its 60-year history.

The deal still needs to be voted through at a meeting in the next month or two but is being recommended by the board of both companies.

Haynes has spent the last five years re-establishing the business as an online operation and put the listed firm up for sale just eight months after the death of founder John Haynes.

Founder and chief executive of Infopro Digital, Christophe Czajka, explained his business has “long respected Haynes’ spirit of innovation and its reputation for excellence”.

He added: “With a deeply complementary product set and geographic footprint, the combined companies have an opportunity to serve our clients more effectively and to build on both organisations’ history of creating innovative, transformative products that the automotive industry has come to value.

“We are committed to working together to create a company that will continue to help define the future of automotive data.”

Eddie Bell, chairman of Haynes, said the board felt the deal was “fair and reasonable”.

He added: “The Haynes board believes that the markets it serves have great potential for Haynes’ future growth and development, and that a combination with Infopro Digital will provide Haynes with the scale, capabilities and resources to ensure that it stays at the forefront of these markets and maximises its potential.”

Haynes launched the first manual for the Austin Healey Sprite in 1966 and sold all 3000 copies within three months.

Pictured is founder John Haynes