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Abu Dhabi-Backed RedBird IMI Secures UK’s Telegraph in £600 Million Deal

 |  November 20, 2023

The Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund RedBird IMI has announced its imminent takeover of two iconic British publications, the Telegraph and Spectator, following a groundbreaking agreement. RedBird IMI, a joint venture between RedBird Capital in the United States and International Media Investments of Abu Dhabi, is set to assume control after facilitating loans to repay outstanding debts owed by the publications’ previous owners, the Barclay family.

Led by former CNN president Jeff Zucker, RedBird IMI has orchestrated a comprehensive financial package to enable the Barclay family to settle their debts with Lloyds Bank in full, consequently rescuing the Telegraph and Spectator from the throes of receivership.

According to a spokesperson for RedBird IMI, the investment fund will extend a loan totaling £600 million, secured against the Telegraph and Spectator. Additionally, International Media Investments will contribute a loan of a similar amount, secured against various Barclay family businesses and commercial interests.

Under the terms of the agreement, RedBird IMI retains the option to convert the loan secured against the Telegraph and Spectator into equity. The investment fund has expressed its intent to exercise this option promptly, signaling a potential shift in ownership structure for the esteemed publications.

This move marks a significant development in the media landscape, showcasing the growing influence of international investment in traditional British media outlets. The injection of capital from RedBird IMI not only alleviates the financial burden on the Barclay family but also introduces a new chapter for the Telegraph and Spectator under the stewardship of the Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund.

The collaboration between RedBird Capital and International Media Investments highlights the global nature of modern media acquisitions and underscores the continued interest of international investors in prominent British media institutions. As RedBird IMI prepares to take the reins, industry observers will be keenly watching for the potential impact of this ownership transition on the editorial direction and business strategies of the Telegraph and Spectator.

Source: The Guardian