European to close as search for buyer fails

The ailing European newspaper will close next month after failing to find a buyer. The final issue will be published on 14 December.

The ailing European newspaper will close next month after failing

to find a buyer. The final issue will be published on 14 December.



The newspaper’s owners, the Barclay brothers, told staff in September

that if they could not agree the sale of the paper within 90 days they

would be forced to close it.



An estimated pounds 50 million has been ploughed into the title since

the brothers bought it out of administrative receivership in January

1992. Despite many redesigns, the newspaper sank from its original

circulation figure of 226,099 in 1990 to 133,000 in the second half of

1997.



Bert Hardy, chief executive of the European and the Sunday Business,

said: ’We gave our staff three months’ notice that we would close at the

end of the year. We haven’t found a buyer and so our decision to close

remains.’



The financial information company, Bloomberg, was investigating a joint

venture with the European and there was also speculation that the

newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Andrew Neil, was looking to lead a

buyout.



The Barclays’ newspaper group, European Press Holdings, will now focus

its attention on the rest of its portfolio which includes the Sunday

Business, the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.



The Sunday Business registered its first ABC figure in October, which

revealed a circulation of 50,150. Hardy said: ’We are on our way to our

target and we have only been going for 40 issues.’



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