O’Kennedy to take up top INM post

Independent News & Media’s group chief financial officer Donal Buggy is to leave the group on Oct 5, to pursue other interests.

He will be replaced on that date by Eamonn O’Kennedy, who joined INM in 1999 as group finance manager at head office.

In 2007, he was appointed finance director of the group’s Irish operations and was appointed finance director of the Island of Ireland operations in 2011.

INM group chief executive Vincent Crowley said: “I am grateful for the contribution Donal has made to INM over the course of many years.

He leaves with our best wishes for the future. I welcome Eamonn into the role to which he brings a wealth of relevant experience.”

Meanwhile, INM has also appointed Investec and Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint to explore a range of strategic options for its South African operation INM.

This process follows informal and unsolicited expressions of interest in respect of INM at a time when INM continues to assess a range of strategic options to deliver its balance sheet.

No divestment decisions have been taken by the company.

Recent reports in the Irish Examiner and other media have suggested that Denis O’Brien — INM’s dominant shareholder — is keen on the South African business being sold and any freshly raised funds being used to expand further into Australia, as well as India and Indonesia.

INM has a pension fund deficit of around €148m and net debt of nearly €428m.

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