Independent goes up for sale

The newspaper's founder has been given the go-ahead to find a buyer by owner Alexander Lebedev, according to reports.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 16 Jan 2014

After various cryptic statements by Independent owner Alexander Lebedev over the fast few months (and not-so-cryptic moves: Lebedev’s son, Evgeny, has stepped down from the newspaper’s board), it finally seems the newspaper is looking for a new home.

The paper has come a long way since Lebedev bought it for £1 back in 2010, most notably through the launch of the I, its bite-sized sister title. But that wasn’t enough to save the title: its ABC figures show that in August, circulation dropped to 69,000, from 82,000 the year before (although I’s figure rose, from 282,000 to 295,000).

According to a report by the Guardian, Andreas Whittam Smith, who founded the paper in 1986, has been authorised to seek a buyer – although there is no formal board mandate to sell it.

Chances are he’s seeing whether anyone will bite – although if Lebedev, who transformed the fortunes of the Evening Standard, can’t do it, others won’t exactly be encouraged. If you fancy a go at being a press baron, you know who to call...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today