Wednesday 26 July 2017

Two INM board members to be reclassified as non independent, non executive directors

It is understood the reclassification will be announced on Friday afternoon
It is understood the reclassification will be announced on Friday afternoon

Dearbhail McDonald Group Business Editor

Two members of the board of Independent News and Media will be reclassified as non independent, non executive directors, independent.ie has learned.

It is understood the reclassification will be announced on Friday afternoon to investors when the company will publish its annual report.

According to the previous annual report published on April 29, 2016, INM non-executive directors Mr. Terry Buckley, Mr. Jerome Kennedy, Ms.Triona Mullane, Dr. Len O’Hagan and Mr. Allan Marshall, were considered to be independent by the board.

During the entirety of 2015, at least half of INM’s board comprised non executive directors deemed by the board to be independent.

It is not unusual for a board member’s status to be reclassified over time depending on changes in their relationship with the business. The duties assigned to non independent and independent non executive directors can also vary.

On Thursday the board of INM, whose titles include the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent and independent.ie, met ahead of the publication, tomorrow, of its 2016 annual report.

It is understood that the media company’s AGM, due to be held in May, will now be rescheduled later this year.

A spokesperson for INM said the date for INM’s forthcoming AGM would be announced tomorrow.

The company said that information regarding directors would be addressed in the annual report.

INM’s board, led by Leslie Buckley, has been in the spotlight after INM chief executive Robert Pitt made a complaint under new whistleblowing legislation to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

The complaint prompted the company law watchdog to seek records in relation to the possible acquisition by INM of radio station Newstalk.

The complaint, made under the Protected Disclosure Act 2014, was made late last year, around the time INM issued a statement to the stock exchange confirming that an "issue" had arisen between Mr Pitt and Mr Buckley over the proposed acquisition of Newstalk.

Businessman Denis O'Brien is the largest single shareholder in INM. He is also the owner of the Communicorp Group, whose assets include Newstalk.

In the statement - issued on November 28, 2016 - INM confirmed that an issue arose between its chief executive and chairman in relation to the terms of a possible acquisition by the company.

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