The “Daily Telegraph” could be the collateral victim of its owner’s misadventures. According to the “BBC”, the Telegraph Media Group, owner of the conservative daily and the weekly “The Spectator”, will be put up for sale to pay off the debts of the Barclay family, shareholders of the newspapers since 2004.
Lloyds bank is pushing for a sale of the title after the bankruptcy of the family holding company holding the media ets. In question: debts estimated at 1 billion pounds claimed by Lloyds, and which the bank inherited in 2008 when it bought the HBOS. The sale of the “Telegraph” would, according to the “Financial Times”, bring in between 500 and 700 million pounds.
In this context, the shareholder tried to reure. “The debts in question are linked to the general structure of the family’s shareholding in the media. They do not affect the business or financial stability of the Telegraph Media Group,” a Barclay family spokesman said.
This complex structure, partly housed in tax havens, is inherited the extraordinary journey of the Barclay brothers, David and Frederick . Fatherless and from a modest background, the twins have built an empire in the media, distribution and hospitality making them among the 30 richest in the UK, with a net worth of 6.4 billion pounds. .
In addition to the “Telegraph”, their ets include the delivery company Yodel, and online sales companies, Littlewoods and Very group. In 2020, the Barclay brothers exposed their divisions during the sale of the Ritz in London, until the death of one of them, David, in January 2021.
vehicle of influence
By separating from the “Daily Telegraph”, the Barclay family will lose a vehicle of considerable influence. The history of this daily is intrinsically linked to that of Brexit.
The daily, much appreciated by “Tory” circles, is known for its Eurosceptic positions since the time when Boris Johnson was a correspondent in Brussels in the 90s until the arrival of Liz Truss in Downing Street, a candidate whom the newspaper supported openly during last summer’s campaign.
million pounds The pre-tax profit of the “Telegraph Media Group”
When the Barclay brothers bought it in 2004, the newspaper was worth 665 million pounds. Despite the press crisis and turbulence within the shareholder family, the “Telegraph Media Group” is in solid financial health.
In 2021, the last financial year for which it reported results, its pre-tax profit reached £29.6m, up from £22m in 2020 and £6.2m in 2019. Among the first English newspapers to have introduced a “paywall” (paid access) in 2013, the “Telegraph” had 733,731 subscriptions at the end of 2022, 80% of which are digital.