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Lebedev buys Independent for £1

THE Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers have been sold to Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev.

Oligarch Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard, bought the loss-making papers from Irish company Independent News & Media (INM) for £1.

As part of the deal, INM agreed to pay Lebedev's Independent Print Limited (IPL) £9.25m over the next ten months.

That payment is to cover "all future trading liabilities and obligations", according to the agreement.

IPL said the agreement "provides a commitment by the Lebedev family to invest in the newspapers, which are currently loss-making, and inject new energy and impetus into them."

INM chief executive Gavin O'Reilly said the deal "is the most satisfactory and positive outcome for the titles, their staff and for INM's shareholders."