Indie owner looks for help to clear bond

Independent News & Media (INM), owner of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday newspapers, is to launch a “deeply discounted” rights offering to help repay an overdue €200m bond.

Independent

The INM says the deadline on repayment of the bond is now likely to be extended to July 24 from the June 26 it was originally set while talks with creditors continued.

According to reports, the rights issue could be for up to €60 million.

The publisher says: “While the outcome of these discussions remains uncertain at this time, recent discussions have shown a willingness on the part of the stakeholders to reach a consensual solution.”

The media group has debt believed to be up to about €1.4 billion and has been hit hard by the downturn in advertising revenues accelerated by the recession.

In April, the group reported that it made a pre-tax loss of €161.4m last year.

It is has been reported widely that INM is prepared to sell The Independent and Independent on Sunday to cut its debt. Most recently, Alexander Lebedev, the Russian oligarch who owns the Evening Standard, was reported to be readying a bid.

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