Daily Telegraph readies compact version with £8m fund

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The Independent Online

The Telegraph Group has earmarked £8m for the launch of a compact version of The Daily Telegraph, which could be on the streets within a month.

The Telegraph Group has earmarked £8m for the launch of a compact version of The Daily Telegraph, which could be on the streets within a month.

Its managing director, Hugo Drayton, told The Independent on Sunday that the company would not let the uncertainty about its future get in the way of launching a compact version.

"If the sale process is going to take several months we cannot afford to wait if this was the right thing to do," he said.

Mr Drayton said no decision had yet been taken. "It is clear it was the right thing for The Independent to do, but not as clear if was as good for The Times, and even less clear if it is right for the Telegraph," he said.

The Telegraph has earmarked £8m to produce a compact version of the daily title, though this does not include extra marketing spend. Mr Drayton said it would take four to five weeks to launch a compact version.

Any investment would have to be approved by the group's owner, Hollinger International. It is in the midst of an auction of The Daily Telegraph and its other titles after the ousting of Hollinger's founder, Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Eleven groups, ranging from the Barclay Brothers to the Daily Mail & General Trust have put in bids for The Telegraph, valuing it at around £600m. Express-owner Richard Desmond has pulled out of the battle.

Bidders are expected to meet with The Telegraph's management next month.

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