Independent seeking a buyer? 'That's not quite the case' says Evgeny Lebedev - Press Gazette

Independent seeking a buyer? 'That's not quite the case' says Evgeny Lebedev

The owner of the Independent, Evgeny Lebedev, has dampened down rumours that the paper is actively seeking a buyer.
The Guardian reported in January that the Independent's "founder, and current chairman of its publishing company, Andreas Whittam Smith, has been authorised to seek out a buyer".
But in an interview with the Guardian's Decca Aitkenhead this weekend, Lebedev is quoted saying: "That's not quite the case. I mean, I think if somebody came and offered the right price, I would sell – but I think you could apply that to almost any newspaper in the world."
Aitkenhead writes: "The Independent was losing £20m when [Alexander] Lebedev bought it in 2010 – but having launched a hugely successful cheaper sister title, i, today he can claim combined daily sales of almost 400,000, which have reduced annual losses to nearer £5m."
In its original report, the Guardian said the Lebedevs had "been indicating for some time that they would be happy to dispose of the paper and its sister titles, i, and the Independent on Sunday".
The report said: "They have made various cryptic statements over the last six months about their willingness to offload loss-making papers that they see no prospect of turning into profit."
The Independent’s cut-price stablemate i rose 0.64 per cent year on year to an average of 300,110 sales a day in February according to ABC. The Independent fell 14.4 per cent over the same period to 64,279.



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