INM chief financial officer to step down
DONAL BUGGY will step down as chief financial officer of Independent News Media in October, four months after he was voted off the board of the group.
Mr Buggy, who served as group finance director until his removal from the board at its June annual general meeting, is leaving “to pursue other interests”, INM said yesterday.
INM chief executive Vincent Crowley said he was “grateful for the contribution” Mr Buggy had made over many years.
INM’s replacement chief financial officer is Eamonn O’Kennedy, who joined INM in 1999 and is the current finance director of the group’s operations in Ireland.
His appointment comes as the group embarks on cost-cutting moves, including an oversubscribed redundancy scheme at the Sunday World, as well as the likely sale of its assets in South Africa.
INM confirmed that it had appointed Investec and Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint “to explore a range of options” for the South Africa operations, following “informal and unsolicited expressions of interest”. Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, headed up by former African National Congress (ANC) activist Iqbal Surve, is said to be putting a bid together, as is ANC-linked Cyril Ramaphosa of Shanduka Investment Holdings.
The sale is expected to put a significant dent in the group’s net debt of €426 million.
INM has yet to appoint a chairman following the departure of James Osborne, who was ousted from the board alongside Mr Buggy at the agm. Their exit followed the resignation of former chief executive Gavin O’Reilly and the retirement of three other directors.
Since the agm, David Reid Scott has resigned from the board, while Allan Marshall and Terry Buckley have been appointed, leaving it with six members.
Meanwhile, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is due to discuss the media holdings of INM’s largest single shareholder, Denis O’Brien, at a meeting on Monday.