Barclays Complete Telegraph Deal

The brothers add Britain's best-selling newspaper to their stable despite the efforts of Hollinger's former CEO.
Ed ZwirnAugust 2, 2004

Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay have finalized their long-delayed acquisition of London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper and other assets from U.S. media group Hollinger International Inc., eight months after they went on sale, Reuters reported.

Hollinger gave the price at $1.21 billion, according to the wire service, after deducting about $117 million in cash on the Telegraph Group balance sheet. “The price reflects the appreciation of the high-quality papers that comprise the Telegraph Group,” said Hollinger’s interim chief, Gordon Paris.

The deal adds Britain’s best-selling newspaper as well as the Spectator magazine to the Barclays’ existing media assets, which include the daily Scotsman and weekly Business newspapers. The brothers also own London’s Ritz Hotel and the Littlewoods catalog-shopping chain.

Hollinger’s former chief executive officer, Lord Conrad Black, had argued that the deal should be put to a vote by Hollinger shareholders; according to Reuters, he retains voting control over Hollinger through a holding company. A day before the sale was completed, however, Judge Leo Strine of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed Black’s argument.