Abu Dhabi-backed fund strikes deal in move to secure Telegraph newspaper

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund RedBird IMI has paved the way to take control of the Telegraph and Spectator publications after agreeing loans to repay debts owed by previous owners, the Barclay family.

Lenders for the Barclay family would need agree to the deal, which is also expected to receive severe political scrutiny.

It comes five months after restructuring specialists AlixPartners were appointed as receivers for the business to recover outstanding debts to lenders.

The Barclay brothers’ bank, Lloyds, hired the receivers to control and help launch a sales process of the business in order to repay debts from failed loans, worth more than £1 billion.

However, on Monday the investment fund, which is a joint venture between US firm RedBird Capital and International Media Investments of Abu Dhabi, confirmed it had struck the deal with the Barclays which it said would take the titles out of receivership and ensure debts to Lloyds were repaid.

RedBird IMI said it would provide a loan of up to £600 million, secured against the publications, with IMI also providing a similar loan against other Barclay-linked assets.

The fund said the deal includes an option to turn the loans into equity which would hand it control of the newspaper and magazine.

A spokesman said it plans to “exercise this option at an early opportunity”.