City watchdog investigates O'Brien's Independent plans

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The Irish Takeover Panel has begun an investigation into Denis O’Brien’s stalking of Independent News and Media, after a source close to the Irish billionaire told last week’s Observer that he plans to make a bid for the Independent publisher.

The watchdog has contacted the Observer to ask it to authenticate a quote in last week’s media section, which said O’Brien “isn’t intending to sit on the sidelines with his tanks on the lawn forever”.

O’Brien has been steadily building up his stake in IN&M since late 2006, and now holds around 21 per cent. The board has labelled him a “dissident shareholder”.

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