Barclays line up Gulf firepower for fresh raid on Telegraph newspapers | Business News

The titles’ former house owners have secured backing from Middle Eastern buyers to desk a suggestion to Lloyds Banking Group price greater than £500m, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, City editor @MarkKleinmanSky

The former house owners of The Daily Telegraph have lined up a whole bunch of tens of millions of kilos from Middle Eastern buyers in a bid to wrest again management of the newspaper from Britain’s largest excessive avenue financial institution.

Sky News can completely reveal that the Barclay household lodged a proposal final week to purchase again roughly £1bn of debt it owes Lloyds Banking Group.

City sources mentioned it was the most recent – and richest – in a sequence of presents the household has put to Lloyds because the Telegraph’s holding firm was positioned into receivership in June.

This weekend, insiders mentioned the Barclays had secured financing from unnamed Gulf backers who’re mentioned to be primarily based in Abu Dhabi.

The proposal to Lloyds provided to purchase again the household’s debt for between £500m and £600m – a considerable low cost to the total worth of the loans, in line with one supply.

The financial institution is known to have rejected the Barclays’ bid, and intends to pursue a full public sale of the every day newspaper, its Sunday sister title and The Spectator journal, whose mother or father firm was additionally positioned into receivership.

A proper sale course of, run by the Wall Street financial institution Goldman Sachs, is predicted to kick off within the autumn.

The Barclay household’s newest provide underlines, nevertheless, its dedication to not completely lose management of the media group it took management of in 2004.

Lloyds had been locked in talks with the Barclays for years about refinancing loans made to them by HBOS previous to that financial institution’s rescue in the course of the 2008 banking disaster.

Until June, the newspapers have been chaired by Aidan Barclay – the nephew of Sir Frederick Barclay, the octogenarian who together with late brother Sir David engineered the takeover of the Telegraph 19 years in the past.

Read extra:
Daily Mail proprietor Rothermere in talks with buyers over Telegraph bid
Yorkshire Post proprietor indicators curiosity in shopping for Daily Telegraph

In current months, Sir Frederick has been embroiled in an acrimonious £100m courtroom battle over his divorce settlement.

The Barclays beforehand owned the Ritz lodge in London, and nonetheless personal Very Group, the net retailer.

Sky News revealed earlier in the summertime that the household had additionally instructed bankers to promote Yodel, the parcel supply group it owns.

Houlihan Lokey, the funding financial institution, is advising the Barclays on their efforts to regain possession of the newspapers.

A supply mentioned this weekend that the Barclays have been adamant that their proposal to purchase again the Lloyds debt provided the financial institution a “clean” answer that may avert any regulatory probe that could be triggered by one other media group shopping for the Telegraph.

Among these concerned about a deal is Lord Rothermere, the Daily Mail proprietor, who Sky News revealed a fortnight in the past can be speaking to Middle Eastern buyers about backing a bid.

A sale for £600m, or anyplace near it, would set off a considerable writeback for Lloyds, which wrote down the worth of its loans to the Barclays a number of years in the past.

Nevertheless, a deal financed solely by abroad buyers may set off different issues regarding media possession, significantly with the historically Conservative-supporting Telegraph titles being bought within the 12 months earlier than a basic election.

Charlie Nunn, Lloyds’ chief government, mentioned final month that he noticed no must run “a rushed sale process”.

“We’ve given the receivers the complete freedom to run a process with the right diligence and, from our perspective, to ensure the process is run well from a UK perspective and maximise the returns for our shareholders,” he mentioned.

Other potential suitors for the Telegraph titles inclde National World, the regional newspaper writer headed by David Montgomery, the trade veteran.

The hedge fund tycoon Sir Paul Marshall – who can be an enormous investor in GB News – and Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky are additionally attainable bidders.

Last month, Telegraph Media Group (TMG) printed full-year outcomes exhibiting pre-tax earnings had risen by a 3rd to about £39m in 2022.

A profitable digital subscriptions technique and “continued strong cost management” have been cited as causes for the corporate’s earnings progress.

“Our vision is to reach more paying readers than at any other time in our history, and we are firmly on track to achieve our 1 million subscriptions target in 2023 ahead of our year-end target,” mentioned Nick Hugh, TMG chief government..

The sale will likely be overseen by a brand new crop of administrators led by Mike McTighe, the boardroom veteran who chairs Openreach and IG Group, the monetary buying and selling agency.

Mr McTighe was just lately named as chairman of Press Acquisitions and May Corporation, the respective mother or father corporations of TMG and The Spectator (1828), which publish the media titles.

On Saturday, spokespeople for the Barclay household and Lloyds each declined to remark.

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