Barclay brothers stripped of roles at Telegraph Media Group

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SONS of a former owner of Brecqhou have been removed as directors of the Telegraph Media Group, as Lloyds tries to sell the family-owned newspapers owing to a reported £1bn debt to the bank.

Aidan and Howard Barclay are the two eldest sons of Sir David Barclay, who died in 2021, and owned the island with his brother, Sir Frederick.

It was reported this week that Lloyds Banking Group had seized the Spectator as well as the Telegraph Media Group.

AlixPartners has been appointed as official receivers for Bermuda-based B.UK, the Barclay family holding company. B.UK controls shares in the two major publishing groups through the Jersey-registered May Corporation.

A spokesperson for the company has said day-to-day running of the newspapers would ‘continue as normal’ and that the receivership was not related to the ‘financial health or performance of the Telegraph or Spectator businesses’.

It has been estimated that the newspaper titles could be worth up to £600 million – with discussions between the receivers, owners and Lloyds Banking Group continuing.

In 2019, it was reported that the Barclay Brothers were looking to sell the Telegraph and other publications amid claims the family had put £500m into their ‘struggling empire’ which included property, hotels, retail and the newspapers.

The family still owns numerous other business interests including retailers Very, Littlewoods, the Woolworths brand and delivery company Yodel.

The twins also owned the Ritz Hotel in London but its sale in 2020 sparked a feud between the brothers which lasted until Sir David’s death in 2021.

Sir Frederick – now 88 years old – is listed as the sole tenant of Brecqhou, the island he bought in 1993 with his twin, Sir David.

Sir David’s eldest son, Aidan, is known to be involved with the day-to-day running of the family’s business interests, including those in Sark. Aidan’s younger brother, Howard, is also believed to be involved, while youngest brothers Duncan and Alastair are not known to be.

Sir Frederick’s two children, Ko and Amanda, are also not known to be involved with the family businesses.

It was Amanda’s existence as the only daughter between the two brothers which sparked their initial conflicts with Sark. Their Brecqhou home comes under Sark laws and when they purchased the island in 1993, the inheritance laws meant the family fortune would pass automatically to the eldest sons on their fathers’ deaths. That law has since been changed, so all Sark (and Brecqhou) children can benefit equally.

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