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Dermot Desmond Indo stake to hit 15pc

Monday, December 16 11:57:15

Independent News and Media's plan to raise E40m through share issues will see Denis O'Brien's stake stay at 29.9pc while financier Dermot Desmond will increase his shareholding to 15pc from 6.4pc.

The company's shareholders today approved the capital-raising plan.

It is the final piece in a complex plan to restructure INM's balance sheet and reduce the media company's debt to around E118m.

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.