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Ken Griffin, Founder of Citadel & Citadel Securities, Joins Bid on UK Media Company The Telegraph

Bloomberg reported today that billionaire Ken Griffin, founder of Citadel & Citadel Securities, has joined fellow hedge fund manager by Paul Marshall in a bid to take over the UK’s Telegraph Media Group.

Analyst working at computer monitors at hedge fund

On September 12, it was announced that Paul Marshall, founder of London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace, hired the investment bank Moelis to advise on a bid for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers. Griffin is joining Marshall and a consortium of investors to provide financing for the deal. The bid will be made through Marshall’s UnHeard Ventures.


Former Telegraph Editor and one-time Prime Ministerial adviser William Lewis will also be placing a competitive bid for the media company. The sale comes after it was reported in June that the publisher's owners failed to repay loans.


If the deal goes through, Griffin will be joining a list of fellow billionaires who have acquired media assets. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013. In 2018, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff bought Time for $190 million. Elon Musk famously bought Twitter (now X) last year for $44 billion. The Murdoch family owns Fox News and The Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post.

 

BuysideInsider's Take

As the newspaper and traditional media companies have been dying, billionaires have been buying them up. If these companies are so poor to go bankrupt, why would such successful business people buy these? One theory is for political and social influence.


Griffin has been becoming increasingly active in political financing. During the 2022 midterms, Griffin had donated over $100 million in state and federal elections since April 2021, campaign finance records show. Also, Griffin has been vocal on the topics of education and crime, especially in Chicago and Illinois, and he moved Citadel’s headquarters from Chicago to South Florida. In interviews, Griffin has been a vocal supporter of Governor Ron DeSantis and his management of Florida throughout COVID. However, Griffin stated he is not supporting any individual Republican primary candidate.


With the 2024 election cycle ramping up, it is not surprising that Griffin is joining a bid for the UK publication. Paul Marshall has also been involved politically in the UK, having donated to both the Liberal Democrat party, but more recently the Conservative Party and the Brexit movement.


If you have any opinions, let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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