Independent News & Media faces O'Brien takeover bid

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Independent News & Media’s “dissident shareholder”, Denis O’Brien, is looking to keep growing his stake in the company and make a cash bid for the Independent publisher, the Observer reports.

The Irish billionaire, who has been stalking the company since 2006, “isn’t intending to sit on the sidelines with his tanks on their lawn for ever and a day,” a source says.

“Money won’t be a problem. The company won’t be in the same hands further down the line.”

Peter Preston argues IN&M boss Tony O’Reilly should hold his nerve, keep the Independent titles, and not go “packing up when it begins to drizzle in London and diving for Dublin cover”.

But if O’Brien were to make a full offer, it must be at the highest share price he has paid for IN&M in the past 12 months. As the company’s share value has more than halved in the last year, the Observer suggests that could mean paying over the odds.

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