Lebedev Takes Over Newspaper

Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has purchased a controlling stake in British newspaper The Evening Standard, the newspaper's parent company announced Wednesday.

Evening Press, a company formed by Lebedev and his son, Yevgeny, has purchased a 75.1 percent stake in the newspaper for a "nominal sum," Daily Mail and General Trust said in a statement.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Times of London on Friday reported that the stake would be sold for ?1. Associated Newspapers, the DMGT unit that owned the stake, will retain 24.9 percent and continue to provide printing and distribution services, the statement said.

"We are strong supporters of a free and independent press, and we greatly admire the Evening Standard as an iconic publication with its pedigree of fine journalism and commentary," Alexander Lebedev, a former State Duma deputy, said in the statement.

Alexander Lebedev's National Reserve Corporation is part owner of Novaya Gazeta, along with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Lebedev also owned tabloid Moscow Correspondent, which ceased to exist late last year.

Lebedev has also signaled that he is interested in The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.