LORD STEVENS is looking happier and so are shares of United Newspapers, which he chairs. It is a better end to a bad year that saw him resign executive control of his other big interest, Invesco MIM, the fund management group.
United's shares are over 500p from a low of 323p.
At the same time I hear that Andrew Cameron, managing director of United's Express Newspapers subsidiary, has been talking to the corporate finance department of a City merchant bank. Quite what all this means is anyone's guess, but one name has been given to me: Tony O'Reilly, the HJ Heinz magnate and a bidder for the Mirror until that paper's recent boardroom shake-up. Having failed to buy the Mirror, O'Reilly's sights may have swung to Lord Stevens' group.
Spooky footnote: a north London firm of private detectives is trying to hire someone to put together a report on the financial affairs of two people: Graham Lord, recently deposed Sunday Express literary editor and the aforementioned Mr Cameron. Anybody who knows why these two gentlemen (Mr Lord tells me he has no wealth to speak of) should arouse such interest, please get in touch.
ANDREW CAMERON, chief of Express Newspapers, is concerned that my December 13 reference to him implies some skulduggery on his part. I don't agree, but I am happy to say that was not my intention. Any such implication would be untrue.
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