The Telegraph has reported that American hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel LLC, is in discussions to assist in funding a transatlantic takeover bid for the U.K. newspaper. The bid is being led by Sir Paul Marshall of the London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace.
Auction Expected Soon
An auction for The Telegraph is anticipated to commence in the coming weeks. Lloyds Banking Group took control of the publication in June after a loan dispute with the previous owners, the Barclay family, who owed approximately $1.7 billion.
Barclay Family's Offer Rejected
The Barclay family had proposed repurchasing both The Telegraph and the weekly magazine, The Spectator. However, their bid of $775 million was turned down, and The Financial Times has stated that The Spectator is set to be sold separately in another auction.
Potential First Venture into Media for Ken Griffin
Ken Griffin currently does not have any media holdings, and if successful, this would mark his first personal investment in the industry, according to The Financial Times. Griffin, worth about $35.4 billion, is ranked at No. 35 on Forbes' 2023 Billionaires list, making him the richest hedge fund manager globally.
Values and Motivations Expressed by Griffin
Last week, Griffin spoke out about his core values and priorities, stating his concerns for individual rights and freedom, economic policies promoting prosperity and upward mobility, access to quality education for all children, community safety, and strong national defense.
Noteworthy Involvement in Meme Stocks
Griffin made headlines due to his involvement in the meme-stock phenomenon depicted in the movie "Dumb Money." Citadel capitalized on its role as a market maker during the craze surrounding "meme stocks" in 2021.
Collaboration with Experienced Media Figures
Marshall Wace, leading the takeover bid, is collaborating with a former executive from the Daily Mail and General Trust, the owner of the U.K. newspaper, Daily Mail. Additionally, Marshall is the proprietor of the right-leaning TV channel GB News.
Other Potential Bidders
Aside from Ken Griffin, there are other potential bidders interested in The Telegraph. These include DMGT, former Telegraph editor Sir William Lewis, Czech billionaire Damily Kertinsky, and News UK, owned by News Corp and controlled by the Murdoch family. However, it is reported that Rupert Murdoch shows greater interest in acquiring The Spectator magazine.