Apr 26, 2024 - Business

Jeff Zucker's RedBird IMI to withdraw Telegraph bid

Photo Illustration of The Telegraph newspaper heading

Photo: Illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

RedBird IMI plans to formally withdraw its bid for the U.K.'s Telegraph and Spectator, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The bid for the influential British publications has been circling the drain amid the country's push to change its laws regarding foreign state ownership of newspapers.

Zoom in: RedBird IMI could withdrawal as early as next week, per a source with knowledge of the situation, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly. A rep for RedBird IMI declined to comment.

Catch up quick: RedBird IMI provided a package of loans to the Barclay family that owns the publications, including a £600 million loan against the Telegraph and Spectator, which it would have converted into equity if the deal went through.

  • The bid faced quick pushback from conservative lawmakers over concerns regarding foreign ownership by Middle Eastern backers.
  • RedBird IMI is a joint venture between investment firm RedBird Capital and International Media Investments, an Abu Dhabi-based investment company. Jeff Zucker is its CEO.
  • The Telegraph is hugely influential in conservative circles, and that party — colloquially known as the Tories — has majority control of the government.

What's next: An auction process will restart for both publications once RedBird IMI officially withdraws, the FT reported.

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