Sunday 20 October 2019

INM market value up €37m amid bid talks

Photo: Arthur Carron
Photo: Arthur Carron
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The market valuation of Independent News & Media (INM) ended the week €37m higher on confirmation that the company is the subject of a potential takeover offer.

The media group, which publishes titles including the Irish Independent, is remaining tight-lipped on the identity of the potential buyer after confirming on Thursday that it has entered what are described as "preliminary" discussions about a potential deal. Sources said that a due diligence process, which would mark an intensification of the process, could start within weeks.

INM declined to comment and has refused to comment on the identity of its potential buyer, but market speculation has focused on media businesses in Scandinavia and the UK.

INM's shares rose a further 4.2pc yesterday, having risen 30.5pc on Thursday, the day on which the media group announced the potential offer.

The rise in shares has given the company a market capitalisation of €137.3m, compared to €100.4m at the end of last week. Subtracting the cash pile on INM's balance sheet (€81.7m at the end of December) implies a value for the business of just under €55.6m.

A number of names have been speculated about as potential buyers,

They include German group Axel Springer, Norwegian company Schibsted, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Axel Springer is understood not to be interested, while Schibsted and News Corp said on Thursday that they never comment on speculation.

Another company seen as a potential buyer, Swedish media group Bonnier, yesterday said it never comments on "speculations regarding our possible involvement in transactions (regardless of the level of accuracy)".

It's understood however that the group, which is the owner of Swedish newspaper 'Dagens Nyheter', is not the interested party.

Irish Independent

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