Alexander Lebedev, the owner of The Independent and Evening Standard titles, is looking for “minority partner” to invest in the paper – but has insisted there are no plans to sell.
Lebedev, who is facing a potential jail sentence after punching a business rival during a television debate, told The Times (£): “We’re not selling, but looking for someone to come in.
“We have cut the losses at The Independent quite considerably. But in the business plan for the coming two years, the loss would still be there.
“We have been looking for a potential minority partner. But if we don’t find a partner, we will go ahead.”
In October the company announced that the Standard made a £1m profit after previously reporting heavy losses before becoming a free title.
The Times reports that, despite the launch of the cut-price i in 2010, The Independent forecasts losses of £14m in the coming year.
Lebedev told the paper that “a minority partner would help to support The Independent as the group sought to achieve forecast profits of £12 million to £18 million by the end of 2015”.
Earlier this month Press Gazette reported that the Lebedevs' charity the Journalism Foundation was being closed.