Telegraph titles, Spectator magazine set for sale over debt

The Telegraph Media Group, the parent company of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph sister newspapers and The Spectator magazine, is set to be put up for sale over unpaid debt, a statement said Wednesday.

Lender Bank of Scotland said that “due to debts being in default and with no sign they would be repaid”, it was left with no choice but to appoint a receiver over B.UK. Limited, a Bermuda-based holding company for the Telegraph Media Group, controlled by the wealthy Barclay family.

It said the appointment of the receivers was an “act of last resort” and comes following discussions to “find a consensual solution and repayment” of the borrowing that reportedly amounts to £1 billion (1.2 billion euros).

“Unfortunately, no agreement could be reached,” it said, adding that the bank “remains willing to continue discussions to find a suitable solution”.

The bank has appointed financial advisory firm AlixPartners as the receiver over B.UK. Limited.

AlixPartners said the day-to-day running of the publications would “continue as normal” and the receivership is not related to the “financial health or performance” of the businesses.

Telegraph Media Group was bought by twin brothers Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay in 2004 for £665 million.

According to AlixPartners, Howard and Aidan Barclay, the sons of the late Sir David Barclay, have been removed as directors of the business.

The Barclay family said that discussions with Lloyds Banking Group, the owner of the Bank of Scotland, are “ongoing”.

“We hope to come to an agreement that will satisfy all parties,” a spokesperson for the family said.

Industry experts estimate that the Telegraph Media Group could be worth between £500 million and £600 million.


© Agence France-Presse

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