Sunday 18 February 2018

INM slashes debts in restructuring

Frank Murray
Frank Murray

Thomas Molloy and Ailish O'Hora

MEDIA group Independent News & Media said yesterday that it has completed its restructuring, resulting in a reduction of its debt to €118m.

In the final part of a complex restructuring programme, INM has applied €40m from its recently completed capital raise to debt reduction.

Core debt has been reduced to approximately €118m from over €400m -- there are other facilities and credit lines of approximately €10m.

All three resolutions relating to the capital raising were passed by shareholders with majorities of more than 99pc at an extraordinary general meeting last week.

Following the capital raise, businessman Denis O'Brien is maintaining his stake at 29.9pc while financier Dermot Desmond is increasing his to 15pc from 6.4pc.

The stake of Tony O'Reilly will fall to around 7pc from the 13.3pc he held before the capital raise.

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

Shares in INM closed up 4.8pc at 11 cents. They have risen 360pc since the beginning of the year, making them the best performing stock on the Dublin exchange.

The publisher also said that Frank Murray will retire from the board at the end of the month after serving as a non executive director since 2003.

Company secretary Andrew Donagher is also retiring at the end of the month. He will be succeeded by Michael Doorly, who has worked with the company since 1989.

"I would like to thank Frank Murray for his great dedication and support over the past decade and, in particular, for agreeing to remain on the board to see INM's restructuring through," chairman Leslie Buckley said yesterday. "I also wish to congratulate Michael Doorly on his appointment as company secretary."

Andrew Donagher was "an outstanding company secretary and a great support to INM's board and executive", Mr Buckley added.

Irish Independent

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