O'Brien may be bypassed in IN&M bond deal

Independent News & Media bondholders are in renegotiation talks with the company over the resolution of its overdue €200m (£170m) on the basis that key shareholder Denis O’Brien will not sign up to the deal, according to reports.

According to the Irish Times, sources close to the bondholders say they believe there is little prospect of securing agreement from O’Brien, INM’s second biggest shareholder.

INM last month secured an extension of the ‘standstill’agreement over the bond until 27 August. However, the Irish Times says a bank debt repayment of €50m is due in September, so the expiry of the current standstill is seen as the effective deadline as the publishing company would weaken further if the bank debt went overdue too.

The bondholder told the Irish Times they believed possible to secure a deal with INM that could bypass O’Brien, as his three associates on the board could not block a package acceptable to other stakeholders.

O’Brien had previously said INM could go into the Irish equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a radical step to help the business.

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