THE Telegraph newspapers and The Spectator magazine are due to be put up for auction within days amid a bitter row between the title’s long-standing owners and creditors.

Lloyds Banking Group is being advised by Lazard, a financial management firm, on its options for the British media assets, which it is set to flog for an estimated £600 million.

Sky News reports that insiders have suggested Lloyds plans to appoint another large investment back to kick off an immediate process to offload the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles.

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This move would formally end the Barclay family’s nearly two-decade ownership of the broadsheets. The Barclay family have a net worth of around £7 billion.

It is understood that AlixPartners have been appointed as the official receiver to seize the shares owned by the Barclay’s in the holding company that ultimately controls the titles.

The bank took action after becoming frustrated at the repayment of a loan amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds, and now intends to remove Barclay family-appointed board members and move to auction off the conservative broadsheet and magazine.

Twin brothers David and Frederick Barclay bought the Telegraph Media Group (TMG), the parent group of the titles, in 2004 for £665m. The sale included The Spectator.

In 2019, Frederick Barclay, amid a feud with his brother David who later died in 2021, tested the waters for a potential sale, with interested parties reportedly weighing bids of about £200m.

Since then, the Telegraph has improved its financial position by moving to a subscription-based model, and establishing a base of 750,000 paying readers.

The company also began to acquire more titles, including recently buying the Chelsea Magazine Company, and reported profits of almost £30m last year.

The ultimate value of the Telegraph may depend on how much the buyer views the paper as a “trophy” asset, the Guardian reports.

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DMGT, owner of the Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers, MailOnline, Metro and i newspaper, has previously expressed an interest, but would likely face regulatory scrutiny over competition issues.

Belgian group Mediahuis, the Irish arm of which is chaired by former TMG chief executive Murdoch MacLennan, could also express an interest.

Jeff Bezos, who paid $250m (£200m) to buy the Washington Post in 2013, was previously linked to a potential bid for the Telegraph in 2018.

AlixPartners has been appointed as receiver to B.UK by Lloyds. B.UK is a Bermaudan-based holding company that ultimately controls shares in the TMG and Spectator (1828) Limited, via the Jersey-based May Corporation.

May Corporation also owns Press Acquisitions, the UK owner of TMG.

A spokesperson for the Barclay family said: “The loans in question are related to the family’s overarching ownership structure of the family’s media assets.

“They do not, in any way, affect the operations or financial stability of TMG.

“The businesses within our portfolio continue to trade strongly, are run by independent management teams, are well capitalised with minimal debt and strong liquidity.

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“They have no liability for any holding company liabilities, continue to operate as normal and are unaffected by issues in the holding company structure above them.”

Aidan and Howard Barclay, David Barclay’s sons, also control Ellerman Holdings which includes the family’s UK assets online retailer Very and delivery group Yodel.

In 2020, the family sold the Ritz hotel to a Qatari investor.