British newspaper, broadcasting and exhibition conglomerate the Daily Mail & General Trust, chaired by Lord Rothermere, has reportedly made a near £700 million ($1.28bn; €1.05bn) bid for the Telegraph Group, comprising the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator magazine.

The Times of London reported Friday morning that the offer propels DMGT well ahead of rival bidders the Barclay brothers and venture capital firm 3i.

DMGT finance director Peter Williams said earlier last week: "Our position remains exactly as it's always been. We are interested in this asset and we openly admit we are still involved."

If DMGT is successful, UK trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt will almost certainly refer the bid to the Office of Fair Trading on competition grounds; possibly also to Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.

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