PR bosses respond to purchase of The Independent by Alexander Lebedev

The PR industry has said it is business as usual for dealing with The Independent, after it was bought by Alexander Lebedev.

Bought for a pound: The Independent
Bought for a pound: The Independent

The Russian billionaire and former KGB spy bought The Independent and The Independent on Sunday for the sum of £1 yesterday.
This follows Lebedev's purchase of the Evening Standard for £1 in January.
Unity co-founder Gerry Hopkinson said: ‘The challenge for Lebedev is to allow the editorial team to get on with their jobs. I don't want to damn the man but I guess I hope they carry on in the tradition of [former owner] Tony O'Reilly.
‘Lebedev has kept the Evening Standard in good shape - so far so good. So if we get a good story I'd hope we'd get a good hearing  - I don't think that's going to change.'

Independent News & Media (INM), the Dublin-based owner of the titles, agreed to pay Mr Lebedev £9.25m, to cover the £1m a month the papers are expected to lose this year.

MD of Grayling's Moscow office Stephen Lock said: 'When it comes to Russia, one can drive oneself crazy trying to see the games within the games being played.  But as a long-term move, having a solid media block in the UK which, one day, may write more objectively about Russia, is good for Lebedev both as a businessman within Russia and as an opinion former about Russia's future.  Russians, remember, play a very long game which they can mask very well. These are some very nice chess pieces on Lebedev's board.'


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