National newspaper group Independent News & Media is working with corporate finance group Lazard on possible options for its struggling national newspaper titles, including its possible sale, according to reports.
Lazard began working with the company after Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev made preliminary enquiries last year, the reports suggest, before he went on to buy a majority stake in the Evening Standard from Daily Mail and General Trust.
However, IN&M has not appointed an official advisor to work on a sale, although observers expect it may do so soon. The decision by biggest shareholder Sir Anthony O’Reilly to step down as chief executive and be replaced by son Gavin O’Reilly, together with other board changes could see a change of attitude towards such a sale.
A spokesmen for IN&M had no comment to make on the reports.
The Independent on Sunday recorded the largest circulation fall of its rivals in the latest ABCs, dropping 21% to months to 169,777 in the six months to March, while its weekday equivalent also fell by 15.44% year on year to 204,384.
The group is due to announce its full year results at the end of this week (Friday 24th April).