Rune-readers detect significant omens that troubled newspaper publishing group Hollinger International [H-Intl] is preparing to sell off its component parts rather than seek a buyer for the group in its entirety.

Sale and purchase agreements have been mailed this week to several contestants seeking control of the group previously controlled by Lord Conrad Black. Among the documentation, a "process letter" confirms that the second-round bidding deadline has been extended until May 20.

Top of bidders' pops is the jewel in H-Int's crown, the highly profitable Telegraph Group, for which seven management presentations have been made to suitors.

These include Daily Mail & General Trust, the UK's billionaire Barclay twins, and private equity groups Apax Partners, Candover and the original 'Barbarian at the Gate', US venture capital group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Stateside, four bidders have received individual presentations on the Chicago Sun-Times and the company's Chicago area regional newspapers.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff