At least one bidder has dropped out of the auction for Telegraph Group -- the UK arm of beleaguered newspaper group Hollinger International -- as the price soars.

Bids are now said to be topping £600 million ($1.14 billion; €895m), pushing out stockbroker Collins Stewart, which initially offered under £500m. It was excluded from the second round of bidding by investment group Lazard, which is overseeing the auction.

Had it been successful in its bid, Collins Stewart planned an immediate flotation of Telegraph Group, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers plus The Spectator magazine.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Delaware, a court battle is raging between Hollinger International and its proprietor Lord Conrad Black as to whether the company has any right to conduct the auction.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff