Tuesday 20 August 2019

New INM owner Mediahuis rings the changes as it takes control

Marc Vangeel has been named INM CEO
Marc Vangeel has been named INM CEO
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

INM's new owner Mediahuis has named Belgian executive Marc Vangeel as CEO of the Irish media group, as it moved to assert direct control following a takeover process that began in April.

Outgoing Independent News & Media (INM) Chief Executive Michael Doorly told staff yesterday that he was standing down with immediate effect and will be replaced by Mr Vangeel, a long-time Mediahuis executive.

Mr Doorly said he will remain available to INM to support a smooth transition.

Marc Vangeel was most recently Chief Executive of the Mediahuis-owned Telegraaf Media Groep in Amsterdam, publisher of the biggest daily newspaper in the Netherlands.

He was previously CEO of Concentra in Belgium, one of the newspaper groups that first merged to create Mediahuis and was subsequently Chairman of Mediahuis.

The move marks the definitive stage in the acquisition of INM by Mediahuis following sign-off by the High Court on Tuesday, the last in a series of approvals including from shareholders, competition authorities and Communications Minister Richard Bruton.

"This is indeed a historical day for INM and, in many ways, the end of an era, but most importantly, the start of an exciting new chapter for the company," Mr Doorly told staff.

The Group CEO of Mediahuis, Gert Ysebaert, paid tribute to the outgoing CEO.

"We are delighted to have concluded the acquisition of INM, which has a long-standing history of providing high quality journalism to the island of Ireland," he said.

Mediahuis also named Belgian journalist Peter Vandermeersch to the new role of Publisher at INM. He will be responsible for the long-term strategy of the firm's titles. INM's current Managing Director of publishing, Richard McClean, will become Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Mediahuis also named a new board of directors for INM, which becomes a subsidiary of the Antwerp-headquartered parent as a result of the deal.

INM plc Chairman Murdoch MacLennan will remain as Chair, with current Directors Fionnuala Duggan, Kate Marsh and Len O'Hagan also remaining on the board.

The Chairman of Mediahuis, Thomas Leysen, its CEO Gert Ysebaert, its COO Paul Verwilt and new INM CEO Mr Vangeel will all join the board.

Of the old board, Catriona Mullane, John Bateson, Kieran Mulvey and Seamus Taaffe have resigned as Directors.

The management changes were confirmed as INM announced to the stock market that the scheme of arrangement to buy the publisher of the Irish Independent, 'Sunday Independent', independent.ie and other leading titles became effective yesterday.

Cheques will be sent to shareholders on August 9 and by no later than August 14.

Trading of INM shares on the Dublin and London stock exchanges has been suspended, and trading in the old shares will be cancelled from 8am today.

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