Venture Capitalists Give Thumbs Down to Sunday Business MBO

13 November 2001

Sunday Business, the ailing business-dedicated national newspaper owed by the reclusive Barclay twins, continues to teeter on the brink of oblivion after venture capitalists refused to back a management buyout plan mounted by SB executives.

The paper’s survival now depends on its purchase by a trade or investment buyer. Given its fiscal performance to date – devouring £30 million of the siblings’ bank balance since its relaunch in 1998 and set to lose an additional £9m this year – media observers believe that only a white knight with a strong underlying strategic rationale will ride to the rescue.

Sunday Business, like its peers, has been hard hit by the current advertising slowdown – exacerbated by a plunge in circulation from its ABC high of 72,000 in February 2000 to the current (October) level of 60,284.

The Barclays, meantime, have hired investment bank Investec to scour the market for a buyer while indicating that they would “prefer to remain involved”.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)