Barclay title in rescue talks

DAVID and Frederick Barclay, owners of London's Ritz hotel, are in talks with three international publishers interested in buying a stake in their embattled newspaper The European.

The talks are being led by Andrew Neil, editor in chief of the Barclays' newspaper group, European Press Holdings, which also includes The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Midlothian Enquirer and Sunday Business.

Under the proposed rescue operation for The European, a second party would take an equity stake in the company. The Barclay twins would maintain a stake and Mr Neil would become the third shareholder.

Bloomberg, the US-based financial information company, has been cited as one of the three companies currently negotiating with Mr Neil, but the company declined to comment.

The European, founded in 1990 by Robert Maxwell, has swallowed up an estimated pounds 50m since the Barclays bought it in 1992. Mr Neil, the former editor of The Sunday Times who became editor in chief of The European in May 1997, changed the publication to a tabloid and plans to turn it into a business magazine.

These have, however, brought him into conflict with the company's chief executive, Bert Hardy. The paper's circulation has fallen from an initial print run of 340,000 to an official 132,000, although the real figure is probably less than 100,000, according to insiders.

Mr Neil's idea is to establish a joint venture with a company that has the know-how to remarket and distribute the title - in magazine form - across Europe, an idea to which Mr Hardy is thought to be bitterly opposed.

Such a joint venture would be a shrewd face-saving move for the Barclays, who would otherwise find themselves having to suffer either the humiliation of closing the paper or selling it wholesale to someone who could equally embarrass them by making it a success, say sources close to the negotiations.

Critics, however, have accused Mr Neil of contributing to the paper's decline because of his staunchly anti-European Union stance. An article in the French newspaper Le Monde this week described Mr Neil as a "frenetic Francophobe" and the current editor of The European, the former Tory MP, Gerry Malone, as a "raving Europhobe".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific