Observer gets its first offer

INVESTMENT boutique Capital Ideas has launched an audacious bid to buy the embattled Observer newspaper from Guardian Media Group (GMG) for a nominal sum, with a view to turning the brand into a weekly news magazine and website.<br /><br />In the first of what is sure to be a number of bids to emerge for the newspaper, Capital Ideas&rsquo; publishing division said it had sent a preliminary letter containing details of the proposal.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are making the first overtures at the moment but we are quite serious about it,&rdquo; said consultant Renwick Haddow. &ldquo;We will be talking to them.&rdquo;<br /><br />The group, which owns the Compliance Monthly and Investing for Growth trade titles, said it would publish a weekend news magazine under the Observer brand, in the style of The Week.<br /><br />However, it plans to slim down the paper&rsquo;s current staff considerably if any deal goes ahead.<br /><br />GMG said it had not yet received the letter, but hinted that any forthcoming offer would be unwelcome, saying: &ldquo;It is not surprising, in the light of recent media coverage, that opportunistic and unsolicited approaches of this nature might be made.&rdquo;<br /><br />Guardian Media Group will next month publish the results of a strategic company review, which may include closing The Observer or turning it into a weekly news publication.