Monday 02 October 2023
Select a region

Sons of late Barclay twin at centre of Telegraph's troubles

Sons of late Barclay twin at centre of Telegraph's troubles

Thursday 08 June 2023

Sons of late Barclay twin at centre of Telegraph's troubles

Thursday 08 June 2023

Sons of one of the Brecqhou-owning Barclay brothers have been removed as directors of the Telegraph Media Group, as Lloyds tries to sell the family-owned newspapers due to a reported £1bn debt to the bank.

Aidan and Howard Barclay are the two eldest sons of Sir David Barclay, who died in 2021.

They appear to have taken an increasingly leading role in managing the family's network of business interests since their father's death.

It was reported yesterday that Lloyds Banking Group had seized the Spectator as well as the Telegraph Media Group. 

AlixPartners has been appointed as official receivers for Bermuda-based B.UK, the Barclay family holding company. B.UK controls shares in the two major publishing groups via Jersey-registered May Corporation.


Pictured: The Barclay family tree. 

A spokesperson for the company has said day-to-day running of the newspapers would “continue as normal” and that the receivership is not related to the "financial health or performance of the Telegraph or Spectator businesses".

“Neither the Telegraph Media Group nor the Spectator are entering administration,” AlixPartners said in a statement published elsewhere.

It's been estimated that the newspaper titles could be worth up to £600million - with discussions between the receivers, owners and Lloyds Banking Group continuing.

The news that the Telegraph Media Group and Spectator have been placed in receivership was last night described as "like watching the slowest motion car crash in history" by political reporter Robert Peston.

He tweeted that "the reckless banking boom of 15 years ago" was to blame with the Lloyds Banking Group expected to put the publications up for auction.

Mr Peston claimed the debts run to millions of pounds, with those debts originally provided by and still held by the Lloyds' Bank of Scotland subsidiary.

With an estimated value of up to £600m, the Telegraph Media Group and Spectator would be worth less now than they were in 2004 when the Barclay Brothers paid £665m for them.

In 2019, it was reported the Barclay Brothers were looking to sell the Telegraph and other publications amid claims the family had needed to put £500m into their "struggling empire" which included property, hotels, retail and the newspapers.

The family still own numerous other business interests including retailers Very, Littlewoods, and the Woolworths brand and delivery company Yodel.

The twins also owned the Ritz Hotel in London but its sale in 2020 sparked a feud between the brothers which lasted until Sir David's death in 2021.

Sir Frederick accused his brother's sons of bugging their conversations prior to the hotel sale. It's not known whether the feud between the uncle and nephews has cooled. 


Pictured: The Barclay family owns Brecqhou, which is a Sark tenement. 

Sir Frederick - now 88-years-old - is listed as the sole tenant of Brecqhou, the island he bought in 1993 with his twin. 

Sir David's eldest son Aidan is known to be involved with the day-to-day running of the family's business interests – including those in Sark. His younger brother Howard is also believed to be involved, while youngest brothers Duncan and Alastair are not known to be.

Sir Frederick's two children, Ko and Amanda, are also not known to be involved with the family businesses.

It was Amanda's existence as the only daughter between the two brothers who sparked their initial conflicts with Sark. Their Brecqhou home comes under Sark laws, and when they purchased the island in 1993 the inheritance laws meant the family fortune would pass automatically to the eldest sons on their father's deaths. That law has since been changed so all Sark (and Brecqhou) children can benefit equally. 


Could Barclays' Brecqhou be sold?

Barclay brother evicted from luxury flat amid divorce battle

Selling Brecqhou 'could help resolve' Barclay twin's £100m row

Barclay twin avoids jail in £100m divorce row

Barclay nephews defend Ritz bugging 

Barclay twin accuses nephews of bugging Ritz

Barclay twin warns brother over Ritz sale

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?