Independent News & Media shareholders will vote next month on the group’s plans to raise more than €40m via a share placement.
If successful, the plan will mark the final part of a multifaceted financial restructuring move which will lower the group’s debt from nearly €440m to €118m.
Earlier this week, INM said it would raise the additional cash by way of a share placing with existing and new shareholders rather than via a rights issue, which was its original preference.
In an update yesterday, INM said it plans to issue over 614m new ordinary shares at 7c each, in an attempt to raise €43m, which will go directly to paying down debt. Of this, just over €30m will be raised via a firm placing of nearly 431m new shares, with the remaining €12.8m coming from a one-for-three placing and open offer, resulting in the issue of nearly 183.5m new ordinary shares.
It said the issue price represents a 47.2% discount to INM’s closing price last Tuesday (the last day of trading prior to the agreement of terms), a 30% discount to the closing price last Friday (the last day prior to the announcement of the structure of the raising), and a near 18% premium to the group’s share price in April when management announced its agreement with its lenders regarding the overall restructuring plan.
INM chief executive Vincent Crowley yesterday said the capital raise will complete “a complex, multi-stage restructuring programme” agreed with the group’s lenders and implemented with the support of “a wide range of stakeholders”.
INM also confirmed that Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond have committed to participate — in respect of an aggregate €29.6m, through a mixed participation in the firm placing and taking up their open offer entitlements.
This will maintain Mr O’Brien’s shareholding in the group at around 29.9% and more than double Mr Desmond’s stake from around 6.4% to 15%.
INM is set to hold an extraordinary general meeting on Dec 16 for shareholders to vote on the matter.
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