Appointment of directors at INM to ‘ensure’ independence

Four new board members will be proposed to shareholders at the company’s March egm

Leslie Buckley: outgoing chairman at Independent News & Media. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Leslie Buckley: outgoing chairman at Independent News & Media. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

The appointment of four new non-executive directors at Independent News and Media (INM) is intended to ensure the company’s key committees have the appropriate balance of independence and skills, the media group have stated in a circular to shareholders.

In his letter, outgoing chairman Leslie Buckley wrote that the board is proposing the appointment of four additional non-executive directors to “restore the board to full strength and to ensure that the board and its key committees (audit and risk, nomination and corporate governance and remuneration) have the appropriate balance of skills, experience, independence and knowledge, to enable them to discharge their respective duties and responsibilities effectively”.

“The company remains committed to compliance with the board and committee constituent recommendations of the UK corporate governance code and the Irish annex and the board believes that the proposed appointments will allow it to meet this objective,” he added.

John Bateson, Fionnuala Duggan, Murdoch MacLennan and Séamus Taaffe are all being proposed as directors to shareholders.

Mr Bateson, a managing director of International Investment and Underwriting, will be Dermot Desmond’s representative on the board following the resignation of David Harrison in December 2017.

Mr MacLennan will join the board with significant newspaper experience having served as chief executive of the Telegraph Media Group. He is currently deputy chairman of that group.

“The board believes that Mr MacLennan’s extensive background in newspapers and media will be of considerable assistance to the INM Group,” shareholders were told.

The board of INM has undergone significant changes since the company’s annual general meeting (agm) in August 2017. Those changes include the departure of former chief executive Robert Pitt, the resignation of David Harrison, and the retirement of Allan Marshall and Leslie Buckley.

INM, in which Denis O’Brien holds 15.8 per cent of shares, will hold an extraordinary general meeting (egm) on March 1st at which shareholders will be asked to elect the nominated directors.