Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looks like Lebedev will own the Independent

Russian plutocrat (I love that word and don't feel it is used enough), media tycoon and former spook, Alexander Lebedev is definitely buying the Independent. That was news a few days ago but he and Independent News and Media have now lodged their submission to the Office of Fair Trading.

The BBC Russian Service is naturally quite excited by this development though they describe the Indy as a highly influential British newspaper. Not sure anybody else would agree with that.

As the Guardian puts it
The OFT posting refers to the "anticipated acquisition of the Independent and Independent on Sunday by Lebedev Holdings Limited" but neither INM or Lebedev has given a public indication whether they will announce the deal tomorrow .

Lebedev Holdings recently set up a new subsidiary, Independent Print, at Companies House, which mimics the process that the Russian businessman went through when buying the London Evening Standard in January last year.
Will it make any difference? Somehow I do not think so. Mr Lebedev clearly has a taste for losing money or, alternatively, he thinks anything is better than having it taken away under some pretext by the Russian government.

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