Tuesday 18 June 2019

Mediahuis lifts its stake in INM to 29.91pc

Mediahuis chief executive Gert Ysebaert and chairman Thomas Leysen. Photo: Photo: Tony Gavin
Mediahuis chief executive Gert Ysebaert and chairman Thomas Leysen. Photo: Photo: Tony Gavin
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Belgo-Dutch news publisher Mediahuis has lifted its stake in Independent News & Media to 29.91pc.

The move consolidates its status as the Irish media company’s biggest single shareholder regardless of the outcome of a €145.6m takeover offer already in train.

The stake now held by the Antwerp based company is confirmed in stock market filings.

It includes just over 1pc of INM owned by Mediahuis chairman Thomas Leysen before the takeover bid. The company has also been buying shares from Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond, previously the biggest shareholders in INM, who last week each committed to selling their stakes to Mediahuis - a combined 45pc of the company.

Last week INM’s board recommended that shareholders accept the 10.5 cents a share offer from Mediahuis to buy all of INM and delist the Irish company from the stock exchange.

The offer is subject to a vote of shareholders at an emergency general meeting (EGM) – including holders of 75pc of shares backing the deal and more than 50pc of voting shareholders accepting the offer. A date for the EGM has not been set but is expected within weeks.

Mediahuis’s 29.91pc stake is now well ahead of any other shareholder and above the level that would trigger a mandatory offer for all remaining shares, if one had not already been made.

Meanwhile, a separate stock market filing shows a fund controlled by billionaire and philanthropist George Soros owns 3.17pc of INM shares, after buying stock two days after the takeover offer was announced.

Online Editors

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