Express Boss Plays Print Card to Trump Telegraph Rivals

05 March 2004

Richard Desmond, proprietor of Express Newspapers, likes to think of himself as a bare-knuckle fighter. He'll fight rough to get what he wants -- and what he wants (really really wants) is Lord Black's Daily and Sunday Telegraph.

The gloves came off Wednesday as the bidding battle for the Telegraph Group heated up. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Desmond warned rival bidders he will eject the Telegraph titles from the Express printing plant in London's Docklands if they fall into hands other than his.

He would have the right to do so under the terms of a contract between the two companies that runs until 2009. "The fact is that if anyone [else] buys the Telegraph they have to assume that the contract will not be renewed in a few years' time," Desmond threatened.

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