The Telegraph and other titles owned by the publisher allegedly are up for sale following a falling out between the media firm’s owners and banking partner, according to the Times and Sky News.
The potential forced sale led to concerns over ‘trickle down disruption’ to the news supply chain and retail strategy in the event of new owners for the Telegraph, Spectator and Chelsea Magazine Company titles. The publisher’s owners have denied any impact on its operations.
The spat relates to stalled repayments on hundreds of millions of pounds in loans from Lloyds Banking Group to Telegraph Media Group’s parent company Press Acquisitions.
Press reports from 6 June suggested the bank had threatened to wind up the publisher’s holding company, but a day later it was claimed that Lloyds had been appointed receivers AlixPartners, which allegedly then seized control of the Barclay family’s shares in TMG.
Lloyds is said to be looking to auction off Telegraph Media Group’s titles, valuing the group at an alleged £600m, described as ‘optimistic’ by RN industry sources.
While no auction, let alone bidders have been formally declared, industry sources told RN rivals Daily Mail Group were a likely contender. The Telegraph outsourced its print advertising sales to Daily Mail Group in 2021, and the Daily Mail Group has a well-documented strategy of acquiring assets from rival publishers.
Despite the claims, the Barclay family and Telegraph Media Group have confirmed a seizing of shareholdings or sell-off plans.A spokesperson for the Barclay family instead said the loans “do not, in any way, affect the operations or financial stability of Telegraph Media Group.”
The spokesperson continued: “”The businesses within our portfolio continue to trade strongly, are run by independent management teams, are well capitalised with minimal debt and strong liquidity.
“They have no liability for any holding company liabilities, continue to operate as normal and are unaffected by issues in the holding company structure above them.”
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