Telegraph put up for sale after ownership battle with government

Telegraph put up for sale after ownership battle with government

An Abu Dhabi-backed fund has conceded defeat in its bid to buy The Daily Telegraph after its ownership was effectively blocked by the government.

RedBird IMI announced it had placed The Telegraph and The Spectator titles up for sale, declaring that its ownership was “no longer feasible”.

The move was confirmed after ministers revealed plans last month to outlaw foreign state ownership of UK newspapers.

The gulf state-backed fund had reached a deal with previous Telegraph owners the Barclay family, in December last year, to take control of the group by paying off debts owed to their bank, Lloyds.

But the move sparked investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority and the media regulator and culminated in the government pulling the plug through an amendment to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill.

A statement read: “RedBird IMI has today confirmed that it intends to withdraw from its proposed acquisition of the Telegraph Media Group and proceed with a sale.

“We continue to believe this approach would have benefited the Telegraph and Spectator’s readers, their journalists and the UK media landscape more widely.

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“Regrettably, it is clear this approach is no longer feasible.”

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