Collins Stewart makes bid for Telegraph

A City stockbroking firm was today circling the Telegraph Group after confirming it has made an offer thought to be worth up to £500m (€714m).

A City stockbroking firm was today circling the Telegraph Group after confirming it has made an offer thought to be worth up to £500m (€714m).

Collins Stewart said it would seek an immediate flotation for the Telegraph publishing group, which includes the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph broadsheets and the Spectator magazine.

It has put together a consortium of pension funds and other institutional investors to bid for the titles, which are being considered for sale by New York-based Hollinger International.

A Collins Stewart spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that the company has put in a bid for the Telegraph publishing group and plans to float it if the bid is successful.”

She declined to comment on the value of the bid.

Hollinger International, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and other assets, indicated last month it may consider disposals after appointing investment bank Lazard to “review and evaluate its strategic alternatives”.

Collins Stewart faces strong competition in its efforts to gain control of the Telegraph publishing group, with a number of media heavyweights also showing an interest.

Daily Mail & General Trust last month pledged to monitor developments at the Telegraph, while Express owner Richard Desmond is also thought to be interested as his group jointly owns West Ferry Printers in London, where the Telegraph titles are printed.

But the advantage of the bid by Collins Stewart is that there are no monopoly issues and it would not be subject to a lengthy inquiry by the Competition Commission, the spokeswoman said.

London-based Collins Stewart has become a specialist in putting together consortia to buy companies with the intention of taking them public.

It orchestrated the acquisition of holiday chain Center Parcs UK, which made its debut on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on Thursday.

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