The Independent and the Independent on Sunday could fetch between £10m and £20m according to a report published today by analysts at Citigroup.
They say the two titles lost £13m in 2008 – but they questioned whether selling them would do much to improve INM’s debt levels, which currently stand at 5.5 times earnings.
“Lebedev bought 75 per cent of the Evening Standard, also loss-making, for £8.3m,” the report says.
“While the Independent titles have a national brand, they actually have lower circulation than the Standard which is only sold in London. In May, the Independent (Mon-Fri) had average daily circulation of 204k vs the Standard’s 211k.
“Whether or not this deal goes ahead, the bigger concern for INM at the moment is whether or not it can reach an agreement with its lenders and bondholders over the refinancing of its missed May 2008 bond.
“Its current financial standstill period runs until 26 June but can be extended further with shareholder approval.”