Telegraph newspapers and Spectator are put up for sale


  • Lloyds seized control of the Telegraph Media Group and The Spectator in June
  • Ex-owners Sir David and Frederick Barclay acquired TMG for £665m in 2004

The sales process to acquire the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator has formally commenced.

Lloyds Banking Group seized control of the Telegraph Media Group and magazine from the Barclay family in June after talks between the parties over outstanding debts totalling more than £1billion broke down.

It appointed restructuring consultancy AlixPartners as the receivers of Bermuda-based B.UK, the holding company for the publications, to prepare for selling the assets to help reduce the weighty debt pile.

Taking over: Lloyds Banking Group seized control of the Telegraph Media Group and The Spectator magazine from the Barclay family in June

Taking over: Lloyds Banking Group seized control of the Telegraph Media Group and The Spectator magazine from the Barclay family in June

Since then, speculation has intensified over who would swoop for three of Britain’s most prominent conservative media outlets.

Daily Mail and General Trust, the parent group of This is Money, MailOnline and the Daily Mail, is among those to have declared an interest.

Other potential contenders include local newspaper publisher National World, GB News backer Sir Paul Marshall, and German media giant Axel Springer, while Rupert Murdoch’s News UK has been named a possible suitor for The Spectator.

However, Sky News reported on Monday that the Barclay family were seeking to bypass the sales process with a £1billion offer for the Daily Telegraph from investors in Abu Dhabi.

It claimed that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the owner of Manchester City Football Club, was among those involved in the talks.

But Lloyds still intends to sell the newspaper through a formal process overseen by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs and has questions about the Barclays’ source of financing.

Now that the auction has begun, potential bidders will be able to access TMG’s financial and operational statements in greater detail.

Analysts are predicting the two Telegraph titles might be bought for between £452million and £586 million, while the Spectator, the world’s oldest surviving weekly magazine, could fetch a price tag of up to £70million.

Brothers Sir David, who died in January 2021, and Frederick Barclay acquired TMG for £665million in 2004 from Hollinger, whose chairman was the controversial press baron Conrad Black.

Once the wealthiest UK family in publishing and advertising, the pair, who had a notoriously bitter falling-out, also owned London’s Ritz Hotel, retailer Littlewoods and delivery group Yodel.

Their ownership of the Telegraph coincided with the continued long-term decline in print circulation and advertising affecting the British newspaper industry.





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