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Former Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi is working with the Barclays to try to regain control of The Telegraph, which was taken over by lender Lloyds in June.

The Barclays have been in talks with Lloyds to take back the newspaper group and have been trying to secure money from Middle Eastern backers to bolster its financial strength.

The multiple offers the family is discussing to buy the newspaper still account for about half of the newspaper group’s debt to Lloyds, which totals more than £1bn, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Executives at Lloyds, which has committed to auctioning off the business this fall, have not yet accepted the offers, according to two people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs has been appointed to oversee the sale.

Zahavi, who was sacked earlier this year for failing to reveal that HMRC was investigating his tax affairs, has now become an intermediary between the family and funds in the Middle East. A person familiar with the matter said the money likely came from Abu Dhabi.

The Stratford-upon-Avon MP, co-founder of polling group YouGov, was sacked after the prime minister’s ethics adviser found he had “seriously breached” ministerial guidelines. He did not respond to a request for comment.

A person familiar with the family’s thinking said they hoped their offer – which the newspaper began in the same week it went into receivership in June – was a more direct way for the bank to resolve its problems without requiring a formal sale That creates cost and complexity. .

Many potential bidders, such as the Daily Mail owner DMGT and Rupert Murdoch’s British News, will face competition issues, and politicians have warned they will take a closer look The next owner of a major Tory newspaper. Boris Johnson was a columnist for the newspaper during his tenure as prime minister.

Some bidders are already looking to potential supporters within the Conservative Party to help smooth the process, a person familiar with the matter said.

Another person familiar with the matter said Zahavi was seeking financing from a wealthy Middle Eastern family as part of arranging financing. Zahavi was not available for comment.Lloyds and the Barclays declined to comment

Zahavi could also become chairman of the newspaper conglomerate if their attempt is successful, according to The Times, which first reported Zahavi’s position.


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