Daily Mail switches private equity partners for Telegraph bid

The Daily Mail & General Trust's bid for the Telegraph was thrown into confusion at the weekend after it emerged that the publisher has split from its bidding partner.

DMGT now has only 10 days to find a new partner for its bid or decide whether to carry on in the bid battle alone and take on the full risk of the acquisition being blocked by competition regulators.

The final stages of the auction of Hollinger International, the Telegraph Group's owner, comes amid swelling legal action against Conrad Black, its former chairman. Full details are expected today of a $1.25bn lawsuit from the current board of Hollinger International against Lord Black on allegations of racketeering.

Until this weekend, DMGT had been working on its bid for the Telegraph titles with Cinven, the private equity house, but it is now understood the publishing group is looking for another partner. The deadline for all "full and final" bids is 20 May.

Cinven and DMGT have parted company over the terms insisted on by Cinven. It was operating, in effect, as an insurance partner for DMGT's bid, automatically acquiring The Telegraph in the event that the Government objected to the deal and forced DMGT to sell it. Cinven was demanding a multimillion-pound fee to provide this service.

Lawyers for DMGT, however, believe it is likely to be an unnecessary expense, as the group has a strong case to put before competition regulators. DMGT insists it has the finances to bid for the papers outright, but it is thought to prefer another partnership with private equity, although this will be structured along different lines to the Cinven deal. DMGT has so far only shown interest in the Telegraph titles, but if its new partner was interested in all its assets, DMGT could be willing to take them on.

There are thought to be six other bidders for the Telegraph, including the billionaire Barclay brothers. All are expected to make a bid in this next round of the auction process. A price tag of £600m is thought to accompany the British newspapers, but some bidders are keen to acquire the whole group, which includes the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

The escalating legal battle between Lord Black and Hollinger, however, may make the auction of the Telegraph titles more complicated. Lord Black strongly denies any alleged wrongdoing and called the lawsuit by Hollinger an act of "tabloid journalism masquerading as law".

The lawsuit amends a more modest initial complaint seeking $200m in damages from Lord Black and is based on discoveries made by Richard Breeden, a former chairman of the SEC who is conducting an internal inquiry in to the company.

Barbara Amiel, Lord Black's wife, and Dan Colson, the former head of the Telegraph Group, have also been listed as defendants in the lawsuit. Neither has been accused of racketeering.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Media Account Writers

£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...

Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor (Magazine Publishing) - Wimbledon - £23-26K

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...

Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publishing) - Wimbledon - £26-30K

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...

Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

£25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference