Telegraph faces sale after UK lender takes control of owners

(Reuters) – The Telegraph group of newspapers could be sold after the Bank of Scotland appointed receivers for shares of the publisher’s owners who failed to repay loans by the bank, restructuring group AlixPartners said on Wednesday.

Receivers Alastair Beveridge and Ben Browne of AlixPartners will explore ways to recover the debts for the bank, a member of the Lloyds Banking Group, after talks failed to resolve the issue, AlixPartners said in a statement.

No operational changes are expected for the media businesses or their employees, and “neither the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) nor The Spectator are entering administration,” AlixPartners added.

The Barclay family owns shares of B.UK Ltd, a holding company within the Penultimate Investment Holdings Limited (PIHL) Group that indirectly owns Telegraph Media Group Limited (TMG) and The Spectator magazine.

AlixPartners said the receivers may reach a resolution which could involve the Telegraph and Spectator businesses being sold. Aidan Barclay, Howard Barclay and Philip Peters have been removed as directors of TMG and The Spectator, and Rigel Mowatt has been removed as a director of The Spectator.

The Barclay family confirmed by email that “discussions with Lloyds Banking Group remain ongoing,” and it hoped to come to an agreement that would satisfy all parties.

Sky News reported on Tuesday that Lloyds was set to launch a 600 million pound ($745.4 million) auction of the Telegraph newspapers and The Spectator magazine.

(Reporting by Gokul Pisharody, Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru and Chiara Ellsei; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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