A businessman who sold his family newspaper firm to a rival group for £5m before buying another group of newspapers has died at the age of 60.
Following his father’s retirement, Robert sold the business to United News & Media, owners of the Yorkshire Post, for £5m, investing the sale proceeds in a group of newspapers on the South Coast.
He later went on to enjoy a long career as a so-called ‘corporate raider,’ buying and selling a range of businesses from the Malmaison Hotel chain to leisure group Arcadian.
Educated at Eton and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read law, Robert joined R Ackrill and Co after university.
“It was always expected that I would work with dad, but when I got into the business, I found he had gone to sleep on the job,” he recalled in an interview published before his death.
His ambitions to expand the business were initially thwarted by his father but he eventually sold the papers after taking over.
These titles were eventually sold on for £18m to Emap before ultimately being bought by Johnston Press, which also now owns the former Ackrill Newspapers titles.
A full obituary covering Robert’s later business career appears in the Telegraph.