Four serious offers have been received for investment in the Sunday Business Post , which is under court protection, the Commercial Court heard yesterday.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told, out of 11 written expressions of investor interest, there were now four serious contenders who had indicated they were prepared to invest and had provided proof of funds.
Period of protection
He granted an application by Rossa Fanning, for the examiner, Michael McAteer, to extend the period of protection to May 15th to allow for the investment offers to be examined and processed. May 15th would be the seventieth day of the examinership, counsel said.
Mr Justice Kelly had last month confirmed Mr McAteer as examiner to Post Publications Ltd, owner and publisher of the newspaper. Revenues at the newspaper fell by 53 per cent from €15.6 million in 2007 to €7.3 million in 2012, the court heard. Advertising was responsible for much of that decline, having fallen by 68 per cent in the same period.
Circulation figures for the Sunday Business Post showed 40,000 copies are sold every weekend, with a readership of 140,000. Circulation revenue fell from €4.9 million in 2007 to €3.69 million last year.
Management had introduced cost-saving measures, including substantial reductions in wages for its 76 full-time staff, the court also heard.
Yesterday, Mr Fanning said the extension of time sought by the examiner was lengthy but necessary. In his progress report to the court, the examiner said an agreement has been reached with Webprint, which prints the Sunday newspaper. The landlord of the Harcourt Street offices, where the Sunday Business Post is based, was also amenable to negotiation on rent price, it was stated.
Mr Fanning said the examiner reiterated his view the newspaper continues to have a reasonable prospect of survival.
Mr Justice Kelly said he was satisfied progress had been made and he granted the extension of time sought on condition the examiner would return to court if there was any change in the situation.
A meeting of creditors is to be held on May 3rd.