Barclays won Telegraph by raising their bid at last minute

The purchase of the Telegraph group by the Barclay brothers is believed to have rescued the paper from a controversial plan to turn the
Daily and
Sunday Telegraph titles into a seven-day news operation.

The purchase of the Telegraph group by the Barclay brothers is believed to have rescued the paper from a controversial plan to turn the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles into a seven-day news operation.

Sources at the Telegraph group said yesterday that an attempt to buy the titles by the finance group 3i would have seen the journalistic staffs of the famous newspapers merged.

The result would have been considerable cost savings but would have raised questions about the future of many of the journalists, particularly those working on the Sunday paper.

One Telegraph executive claimed that the acceptance of the 3i bid, which was being advised by David Montgomery, the former chief executive of the Mirror Group, would have been "a disaster" for the Telegraph.

"There's no doubt it would have become a seven-day operation. The Sunday would have ceased to exist in its current form," he said. "The only way to achieve what they wanted - which was flotation of the Telegraph group on the Stock Exchange within two or three years - was to slash and burn and run the papers on a much lower budget."

It emerged yesterday that as late in the auction process as last Saturday Mr Montgomery sought to woo the group's two newspaper editors - Martin Newland of the Daily Telegraph and Dominic Lawson of the Sunday Telegraph - by inviting them to a meeting hosted by Lazard, the bank that was overseeing the auction of the group on behalf of the previous owners, Hollinger International.

It is understood that the editors were told that it was felt that they had not been sufficiently included in the negotiations on the future of the newspapers and that they and other senior executives on the titles could expect to benefit from incentives packages if the 3i bid was successful.

Telegraph group sources suggested that even as late as Wednesday that the 3i offer was in pole position, only for the Barclays, who have been pursuing ownership of the newspapers since 1985, to raise their bid. At a meeting of the board of Hollinger International on Monday it was decided to accept the Barclays' offer of £665m.

The sum, described yesterday as "a trophy asset price", was £400m more than the brothers had agreed with the former Hollinger chairman, Lord Black of Crossharbour, late last year to buy his stake in the company.

But yesterday Lord Black, through his holding company Hollinger Inc, which has 30 per cent of the shares and 72 per cent of the voting rights of Hollinger International, threatened to block the sale to the Barclays, questioning whether it represented the best value to shareholders.

The Barclays have pursued the Telegraph group for nearly 20 years, first approaching Lord Black with an offer to buy him out when he owned a quarter of the papers back in 1985.

Although senior executives at the Telegraph group described the acceptance of the Barclays' offer as the "best outcome possible", some of the staff were more cautious in their response.

Members of the National Union of Journalists working on the titles have called an emergency meeting today to discuss the implications of the sale.

There is some concern that a bitter Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, might exact revenge for his own failure to acquire the Telegraph titles by forcing it out of the east London printworks that the two companies share. Staff were advised yesterday that the Telegraph group was confident that such a move would be beyond the financial resources of Mr Desmond.

There was a widespread expectation within the group that the Sunday Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson - who is on friendly terms with the Barclays - will be offered the editorship of the daily. One news executive on the title said: "Dominic does want it. He realises how big a job it will be but he would be up for the challenge."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition