Ex-KGB officer Lebedev to buy Evening Standard for a pound

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London, Jan.16 (ANI): Former KGB officer and now Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev is expected to pay just a pound for the London Evening Standard.

According to The Times, the token price reflects the newspaper's loss-making performance and the owner's eagerness to rid himself of a title that has been in his family for three decades.

Negotiations between Viscount Rothermere's Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and Lebedev remained on track yesterday despite claims that Lord Rothermere was unhappy that Lebedev's camp had leaked out details.

DMGT said that it was willing to consider other bidders, although time is short. The sale is to be completed on Monday.

"We have entered into discussions with Alexander Lebedev regarding a sale of the Evening Standard. No agreement has yet been reached," DMGT insiders were quoted, as saying.

The Standard is the sole survivor of 14 paid-for London evening newspapers, but now loses about 10 million pounds a year, hurt by falling circulation and new competition from free sheets, including the London paper, owned by News International, parent company of The Times. (ANI)

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