Lebedev's Bid to Buy British Paper Rejected

Billionaire businessman Alexander Lebedev made an unsuccessful bid to buy the London newspaper Evening Standard, British media reported.

Lebedev, a former intelligence officer who dabbles in liberal politics, offered to purchase the newspaper from Daily Mail & General Trust for an undisclosed sum, the Financial Times reported Friday, citing an unidentified banker who has worked with the company.

The company rejected the bid because it is "very sensitive when it comes to newspapers, and there is no way they are going to get into bed with a Russian oligarch," the FT cited the banker as saying.

Lebedev, a former State Duma deputy who owns a blocking stake in Aeroflot, is no stranger to the newspaper business. He currently owns 39 percent of the liberal Novaya Gazeta, a publication highly critical of the country's ruling elite that employed slain investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Last year, Forbes magazine estimated Lebedev's wealth at $3.1 billion.