Friday, 26 March 2010

Independent says Lebedev deal 'secures future'

The Independent says today that its future and that of the Independent on Sunday was secured by yesterday's sale of the titles by Independent News and Media to Independent Print Limited, the company owned by the Lebedev family.
It reports that the agreement provides a commitment by the Lebedev family to invest in the newspapers, which have been owned by INM for 12 years.
Alexander Lebedev is quoted as saying: "I invest in institutions which contribute to democracy and transparency, and at the heart of that are newspapers which report independently and campaign for truth. I am a supporter of in-depth investigative reporting and campaigns which promote transparency and seek to fight international corruption. These are things The Independent has always done well and will, I am sure, continue to do."
Evgeny Lebedev, who will be the chairman of the new company, added: "It is a great privilege to be able to work with two iconic and respected newspapers with their brilliant journalists, and to be part of a plan for the long-term survival of the papers. I wish to ensure their sense of independent and free-spirited reporting continues to thrive. I believe strongly in the value and purpose of serious newspapers."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron and Liberal-Democrat leader Nick Clegg are quoted welcoming the takeover.
The purchase of the Independent newspapers follows the Lebedevs' acquisition last year of a 75 per cent shareholding in the London Evening Standard.

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