Sensational story on MediaGuardian tonight that billionaire and former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev is to buy a majority stake in London's Evening Standard tomorrow, in a move that would see him become the first Russian oligarch to own a major British newspaper.
MediaGuardian says Lebedev is poised to clinch the Standard deal following a year of secret talks. Under the terms of the deal Lebedev will purchase 76 per cent of the newspaper, with Associated retaining 24 per cent. Lebedev's son Evgeny, who lives in London, is due to sign the deal with Daily Mail & General Trust tomorrow, says MediaGuardian, and the agreement will make Lebedev the paper's controversial new proprietor.
This could be the media scoop of the year - and it is still January.