Murdoch Wants to Buy the Spectator mdi-fullscreen

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly eyeing a bid for The Spectator, now that the coveted title is on the market after Lloyds seized control of the Barclay family’s shares last week. According to a Bloomberg report which Guido has confirmed, Rupert is in London for meetings with senior News UK management, and is keen to add the Speccie to his roster after previously making a £50 million offer around two years ago. He’s wanted it for decades. Next week is a convenient time for him to be in town…

However, there are rumours the Telegraph and the Spectator will be auctioned as a package to sweeten the deal. If that happens, Murdoch’s odds would be much lower. Lloyds said to be asking for around £600 million – much of that in ‘trophy’ value – and the anti-trust nightmare that would come from owning practically every profitable national title apart from the Mail would make it less likely. Guido doubts TMG will go for £600 million if anyone has any commercial sense. If the Spectator is offered separately, Murdoch will open his wallet right away… 

Speculation that DMGT will want to bid is widespread; they handle the Telegraph’s outsourced printing and advertising sales already. The minor monopoly problem of the Mail stable controlling over half the newspaper market could be solved by ridding themselves – one way or another – of the struggling Metro titles and flogging the i newspaper to someone like Mike Danson, the billionaire owner of the New Statesman. It would give him more heft and influence over a Starmer government…

Paul Marshall is another a potential buyer. He’s told allies he’s interested, and bringing UnHerd, GB News and The Spectator under his umbrella would make sense for him. UnHerd’s office is about two doors down from The Spectator’s on Old Queen Street. His spokesperson cryptically tells Bloomberg “it is too early to say anything meaningful and he is merely watching the situation from afar along with everybody else.”

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Paul Marshall Rupert Murdoch
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