Lebedev seeking new partners for UK newspapers

Russian entrepreneur Alexander Lebedev, who controls National Reserve Bank, wants to sell minority stakes in the struggling UK newspapers - The Independent and The Evening Standard - which he bought three years ago, he told The Times in an interview.

"We're not selling, but looking for someone to come in," he told the newspaper.

However, with the British press up against heightened financial and political pressure, Lebedev doubted that it would be easy to find a buyer because there are "not many people willing to be heroes," The Times reported.

Lebedev acquired The Evening Standard from Daily Mail and General Trust in January 2009 for a single pound. Several months later, he bought The Independent from media holding Independent News & Media, which belongs to Sir Anthony O'Reilly, for the same price. Both of the newspapers were on the brink of collapse.

Earlier this year, Lebedev's son Yevgeny said that he and his father had invested about 75 million pounds in their British newspapers over the last three years.

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