Pension Board approves INM’s restructuring plan
Changes will see a reduction in group’s defined benefit pension scheme
Plans by Independent News & Media to restructure its pension scheme have been approved by the Pensions Board.
The changes will see a reduction in the group’s defined benefit pension scheme, with staff retirement benefits cut by up to 39 per cent.
The company, which publishes the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World and the Belfast Telegraph, said the reduction in benefits was effective immediately.
It said the changes would reduce the cost of the scheme from about €110 million to €80 million.
“This restructuring of the pension scheme completes the pension restructuring as outlined in the circular to shareholders in May, and is a further significant step in the group’s balance sheet restructuring,” the company said in a statement.
The pension agreement paves the way for a €40 million rights issue, scheduled for later this year, to further reduce debt.
Last month, the company said cost-cutting measures had generated €15.9 million in savings and helped it to record an operating profit of some €15.2 million (up 8.6 per cent or €1.2 million), despite the fall in overall revenue.
Net debt stood at €434.6 million at the end of June and this has now been reduced to €290.6 million following the disposal of INM’s South African business.
INM’s group chief executive Vincent Crowley said work on a third and final stage of the company’s restructuring - a €40 million capital raise to further reduce debt - was under way and was likely be completed by the end of the year.