INM refers planned sale of Independent to the OFT

The likely sale of the Independent and the Independent on Sunday to Alexander Lebedev seemed to move a step further this afternoon with confirmation that a submission has been lodged with the Office of Fair Trading over the proposed deal.

Independent News & Media issued a statement this afternoon confirming its submission to the OFT over its plans to sell Lebedev, owner of the London Evening Standard, its two London newspapers.

IN&M said: ‘Further to previous market updates, Independent News & Media PLC (‘INM’) confirms that it has lodged a submission to the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (‘OFT’), inviting comments to the OFT by March 11th 2010, in relation to the anticipated acquisition of the Independent and Independent on Sunday by Lebedev Holdings Limited”.

The Guardian noted earlier this week that Lebedev Holdings, which controls the Standard, had registered a new subsidiary company with Companies House, called Independent Print Ltd.

IN&M’s deadline on exclusive talks with Alexander Lebedev over the sale of the Indy and the Sindy falls tomorrow…could an annoucement be imminent?

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