Saturday 24 March 2018

INM shareholders approve company's capital raise plan for over €40m

Businessman Denis O'Brien
Businessman Denis O'Brien
STAKE: Dermot Desmond
INM chairman Leslie Buckley (left) with CEO Vincent Crowley
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

SHAREHOLDERS in Independent News & Media have approved the company's capital raise plan of over €40m.

New and existing shareholders in Independent News & Media are planning to buy up shares in the company through its stock offering.

INM is raising over €40m in capital by selling the stock to new and existing shareholders.

The plan was given the green light by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting this morning.

All resolutions relating the the capital raising were passed by shareholders.

Businessman Denis O'Brien will maintain his stake at 29.9pc of the firm following the placement, while financier Dermot Desmond said he would increase his stake to 15pc from 6.4pc.

The capital raising is the final piece in a complex plan to restructure INM's balance sheet and reduce the media company’s debt to around €118m.

There are two main elements to the capital raise - a placement of new ordinary shares to new and existing shareholders and a new offer to those who are already stakeholders in the firm.

As of close of the offer, INM had received valid acceptances for just over 86pc of the open offer. As a result, shares representing 13.7pc will be allocated to investors with whom they have been conditionally placed.

The remainder will be allocated to existing shareholders.

The capital raising follows deals with INM's main lenders to write down debt, a reduction in future pension payments to employees and the sale of the South African business, all in association with additional cost-cutting measures.

Speaking today, INM chairman Leslie Buckley said while the restructuring was a complex one, the firm is now well positioned for any upturn in the economy.

“This is a once off rights issue," he said. ”We are now at the final stages of the restructuring.”

INM chief executive Vincent Crowley added that advertising was picking up ahead of the festive period. “We are having a Christmas,”  he said.

Lenders will own around 11pc of the company following the capital raise while the employee benefit trust will own a further 5pc.



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