Lebedev finding his range at the ‘Indy’
Slowly but surely, the Russian investor Aleksandr Lebedev is making inroads into the mountainous losses at the London Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers.
The oligarch bought the newspapers in 2010 for the princely sum of £1 from Independent News & Media when it was run by the O’Reilly family, themselves once pillars of Ireland’s O’Ligarchy.
The Indy/Sindy losses were a bugbear of Denis O’Brien when he was battling for control of INM. It’s easy to see why, looking at the latest accounts for Independent Print, the company behind the titles.
Even after shaving about £5.5 million from the operating costs, the company still made a loss of about £19 million for last year.
Lebedev’s retained losses on the two titles are now hurtling towards £40 million. And to think people thought their £1 price tag was cheap.
This week, journalists at the papers warned they were reaching “tipping point” with the latest round of proposed job cuts.
They should be careful when it comes to taking on Lebedev. this month he received 150 hours of community service in Russia after bopping another man on the nose live on television in a fraught debate.