Indie owner moots sale to raise cash

The future of The Independent is looking increasingly uncertain following the news that Independent News & Media is seeking to raise at least £94m through the sales of assets. It is thought the cash will go towards paying off its €1.4bn (£1.3bn) debt.

It is reported that the company plans to make a statement to the stock exchange this week. Its share price fell 45% last week to 19 cents with increasing speculation about the future of the group.

It is thought that the group is likely to sell Cashcade, its British online bingo arm, its German price comparison company, Verivox, and an African outdoor advertising company. A report in Ireland’s Sunday Business Post says it may look to sell off London newspaper The Independent completely.

INM is understood to have appointed Merrill Lynch to advise on raising cash. A full trading statement is due this week and is expected to outline it plans.

The news comes just months after the group said it was cutting jobs at The Independent and its Sunday sister title in a bid to cut costs during the global advertising downturn. It also announced plans to move staff into the Daily Mail head office in Kensington from its current base in London’s Docklands.

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