Redundancies at INM to be voluntary

It is expected that redundancies at Independent News and Media will be voluntary, after a meeting of staff at the company’s headquarters yesterday.

Staff were told that there will be first-round offers of redundancies but no numbers were mentioned. The management did not rule out pay cuts in the future.

Senior management at the company outlined a number of new work practices, including the merging of the Irish Independent and Herald news desks that will result in a number of senior staff redundancies.

INM is hoping to raise in the region of €240m through the sale of its South African operations.

A portion of the proceeds from this sale will be used to fund restructuring costs.

INM is also eager to show its financiers that it can deliver profits from off-loading assets as the company seeks to refinance its debts of €423m before this matures in May 2014.

The group also has a massive pension debt of €163m and is examining ways of restructuring its pension fund.

Earlier this year INM launched Project Resolute, to review operations in the company.

The stock market responded to the news positively yesterday, with Independent News and Media shares rising to 9c at the close of trading.

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