Desmond to double INM stake
Businessman will increase his holding in media group to 15 per cent
Businessman Dermot Desmond is set to more than double his stake in Independent News & Media. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Businessman Dermot Desmond is set to more than double his stake in Independent News & Media – the country’s largest media organisation – to 15 per cent under the company’s plan to raise money to pay down its debt.
Both Mr Desmond and INM’s largest shareholder Denis O’Brien will participate in a capital-raising exercise designed to generate €40 million, which alongside the issue of €10 million worth of new shares in the group, will serve to reduce its core debt to €118 million.
Mr O’Brien will maintain his shareholding in INM at 29.9 per cent, just below the 30 per cent level that would require him to make a takeover bid for the company. However, INM announced that Mr Desmond planned to substantially increase his holding from its existing level of about 6.4 per cent.
Mr Desmond, whose fortune is estimated at $1.8 billion (€1.33 billion) by Forbes magazine, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.
The veteran financier is already represented on the board of INM, having nominated David Harrison, the chief executive of Intuition Publishing, to a non-executive director position last December. Mr O’Brien’s nominees on the board are Paul Connolly, Lucy Gaffney and chairman Leslie Buckley.
Mr Buckley last year replaced James Osborne as chairman, after Mr Desmond and Mr O’Brien voted against the latter’s re-election.