- The controversial Hinduja brothers have entered the bidding war for United News & Media's national titles, submitting a formal bid of £100 million for the group that includes the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star. The bid is the largest currently in the public domain, beating out former Mirror Group David Montgomery's 3I backed £90 million and Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay's believed offer of between £75 million and £100 million, through media holdings.
The brothers have buttressed their bid with promises of a board of trustees to protect the editorial independence of the papers, a particularly emotive issue for the Express. However, their bid is handicapped by the charges of bribery arising from a 1986 arms deal, that could still be brought against them in their native India.
All the bids so far fall short of the £150 million to £200 million that United is hoping to receive for the business. Bids are being held down in anticipation of the major investment necessary to secure a strong future for the titles.