Richard Desmond -- owner of Britain's Express Newspaper Group and, until this week, a stable of unsavoury 'top-shelf' magazines on which his fortune was founded -- has disposed of the latter to the aptly named Remnant Media.

Many in the media industry believed Desmond's former ownership of this pubescent smut could have stood between him and acquisition of Hollinger's Telegraph Group, for which he has already placed a bid.

Were his bid successful, Desmond would then have to convince Britain's new media supra-regulator Ofcom that he is Mr Clean and -- on public interest grounds -- a fit custodian of the venerable rightwing Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles.

• Separately, the Barclay twins, who hanker equally after the Telegraph papers, have formally withdrawn their £260 million ($477.20m; €392.02m) bid for Conrad Black's controlling stake in Hollinger Incorporated [H-Inc].
    Their withdrawal follows last month's decision by a Delaware court to bar Black's attempt to sell his stake while matters of corporate governance remain unresolved.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff