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Ex-KGB spy pursues bid to take control of UK's Evening Standard

Ex-KGB spy pursues bid to take control of UK's Evening Standard

Russian oligarch and ex-KGB officer Alexander Lebedev continues to pursue an effort to buy a controlling stake in the London Evening Standard newspaper from Daily Mail and General Trust Plc, a person with direct knowledge of the bid said.
An answer on the proposal to acquire 75 percent plus one share was expected yesterday. A Daily Mail spokesman declined to comment. Lebedev, a 49-year-old millionaire who was worth billions until markets collapsed last year, said he's held talks with the owners of top UK newspapers for more than a year. "This is not my way to make money, but I'd like to explain to the public that newspapers are something they should love and cherish," Lebedev said in an interview. "Obviously I would be in charge of the financial side" and wouldn't play a role in news content, he said.
Lebedev is part of a wave of Russian oligarchs who have snapped up UK assets in the past several years, including Roman Abramovich's purchase of London's Chelsea Football Club in 2003 and Alisher Usmanov's majority stake in the Arsenal Football Club.
Lebedev has also signaled interest in The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, a UK national newspaper that has experienced job losses, budget cuts and a decline in ad revenue from print display and classified advertising amid the credit crunch.


Updated : 2021-07-30 12:01 GMT+08:00