The following excerpt was sent out from The Financial Times:
The long-awaited sales process for the Telegraph and The Spectator has formally started in what will be a closely watched contest for one of the UK’s top national newspaper groups. On Friday, the boards of the parent companies behind the Telegraph Media Group Limited and The Spectator said that advisers would launch a sale process for each of the businesses. Goldman Sachs is advising on the sale.
Lloyds Banking Group seized control of the newspaper and magazine from the Barclay family early in the summer following a long-running dispute over unpaid debts of more than £1bn. The start of the process comes after several months of work by the bank’s advisers on preparing the newspaper and magazine for sale, which will be handled in separate processes. AlixPartners was appointed as receivers. Lazard is also advising Lloyds.
The auction has attracted more than 20 expressions of interest so far, according to people close to the process, with the majority of the offers expected to be for the Spectator. The Telegraph could fetch more than £500mn, according to analysts, based on realistic multiples of its earnings and revenues. The Spectator could raise more than £70mn.
Bids are expected for the Telegraph from investor groups led by hedge fund millionaire Sir Paul Marshall and former Telegraph editor Sir William Lewis, alongside Lord Rothermere’s DMGT, the publisher of The Daily Mail, and National World, the newspaper group led by former Mirror Group chief executive David Montgomery. German publisher Axel Springer and Rupert Murdoch’s News UK have also expressed interest.
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