INM extends standstill deal again, claims report

Independent News & Media has secured a fourth extension with its creditors over the repayment of a €200m (£175m) bond originally due in May, according to reports.

The company’s current standstill agreement, which expires on Thursday, is expected to be extended for a further month, claims the Guardian.

INM has managed to cut a series of standstill agreements since the original repayment date of May 18 that saw the deadline pushed back into June, July, then eventually this month.

The new deal, which will see the deadline pushed into September, will provide the troubled owner of the Independent and Independent on Sunday with more time to sort out it finances.

The board of INM is due to meet tomorrow to discuss the ailing state of the company’s finances ahead of half-year results on Friday.

Pushing the repayment date into September will mean talks over repayment of the bond will coincide with €50m of the company’s bank debt falling due.

According to the Guardian, bondholders propose taking control of the business by swapping their debt for most of the company’s equity, effectively wiping out the share held by the family of chief executive, Gavin O’Reilly, and the second biggest investor, Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien.

The report claims the plan, opposed by shareholders, would then see bondholders offer to sell the business back to shareholders after the proposed debt-for-equity swap.

The board is reported to have an alterative plan to payoff bondholders with capital raised through recent divestments, €60m it proposes O’Brien and O’Reilly could inject into the company and offering its financers a smaller stake in the business.

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