Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has agreed to purchase struggling UK newspapers The Independent and The Independent on Sunday though Independent Print, a company owned by his family. Lebedev already owns the London-based The Evening Standard, which he purchased in January of 2009. Lebedev had been in talks to buy the papers for some time, and announced his plan to keep Trinity Mirror Group PLC as the papers’ publisher earlier this month.
The purchase price was 1 British pound, or about $1.49. All that’s pending at this point is the approval from the Irish Competition authorities. Once the deal goes through, the papers have agreed to pay Lebedev 9.25 million pounds over the next 10 months for future liabilities and obligations.
And, because no story on Lebedev is complete without a mention of this: Yes. The man was formerly a KGB officer.