Swiss bank UBS has emerged in recent weeks as the third-largest shareholder in Independent News & Media (INM) after businessmen Denis O'Brien and Dermot Desmond.
Recent regulatory filings from INM show UBS has built up a stake of close to 6 per cent in the publishing group via the institution’s London branch.
It has surpassed the hedge fund Farringdon Capital, owned by Dutch investor Bram Cornelisse, who was previously the largest investor outside of the two dominant shareholders.
Mr O’Brien controls more than 29 per cent of INM, while Mr Desmond has almost 15 per cent. Farringdon owns about 5 per cent of the group, with the rest of the shares dispersed in smaller stakes among a plethora of institutions and individual investors.
Bitter boardroom battle
Shareholders are currently waiting on the company to formally notify them of the details for its upcoming annual general meeting, at which the board is expected to face questioning over the ongoing and bitter boardroom battle between its chairman, Leslie Buckley, and chief executive, Robert Pitt.
The row is over an abandoned proposal last year for INM to bid for Newstalk, a radio station owned by Mr O’Brien.
INM’s website currently suggests the agm will be held on May 31st, although there has yet to be any official confirmation to this of shareholders, who would expect to receive a notification shortly if this meeting is to go ahead as planned.
The company is obliged to hold its agm by the beginning of September. INM declined to comment when asked whether the agm will go ahead in May as the website suggests.