In the mêlée surrounding Lord Conrad Black's former Hollinger International [H-Intl] empire, the Barbarians have fled the gate.

Private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, subject of the 1993 Wall Street exposé Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, has quit the fray, allegedly unwilling to stump-up the required dollars for H-Intl in its entirety.

Among the few players still believed to be sitting at the poker table is a consortium led by German publishing giant Axel Springer. But there is no shortage of bidders for the meatier cuts from His Lordship's quondam fiefdom -- in particular the UK's Telegraph Group.

The hand of the latter is contested by numerous eager swains, among them British billionaire twins Frederick and David Barclay. Other wooers include the Daily Mail and General Trust, speculators Candover Investments and Apax Partners in a joint venture, plus a separate bid from private equity giant 3i.

The outcome of the auction is expected to be announced in June.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff