Lloyds rejects latest bid by Barclay Family to buy UK’s Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group Plc turned down the Barclay Family’s latest bid to reclaim The Telegraph, in order to reassure bidders for an ongoing auction.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the lender turned down a £1billion ($1.2billion) offer from a Middle East investor. The bank told the family that they could either bid at the auction, or submit a transparently-funded offer for the entire amount owed.

Lloyds seized Telegraph titles and the Spectator Magazine from the Barclay Family in June in order to recover debts. They also removed Barclay members from their director roles, placing the businesses into receivership.

The Barclays, which is not connected to the bank with the same name, bought the titles for £665 millions in 2004. The family didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry for comment.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was appointed by receivers to manage the sale process of the Telegraph Media Group Ltd.

Media bidders have already shown interest in the politically significant titles. People familiar with the situation have previously reported that US billionaire Ken Griffin, a major Republican donor and hedge fund manager Paul Marshall had discussed a possible bid for the Telegraph. Separate sources have confirmed that News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch made a bid for The Spectator two years ago.

Will Lewis, former Telegraph journalist and Prime Ministerial advisor, announced in September that he had lined up funding to takeover his former employer. Middle Eastern investors are in talks with Daily Mail & General Trust plc to support potential offers by the rival news publisher.

The news was announced earlier.