INM closes in on agreement with bondholders

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The Independent Online

Independent News & Media is close to a deal with its lenders, the publishing group, which owns The Independent, said yesterday. INM said that discussions with the holders of a €200m bond issue due for repayment shortly, as well as with other lenders, had "advanced significantly", though it pointed out that an agreement was still to be finalised.

If the negotiations are concluded successfully, INM would secure a "significant extension on maturities of available senior debt facilities," as well as "revised financial covenants to provide adequate headroom accommodating prevailing trading conditions and expectations".

The deal is likely to see bondholders swap part of their debt for an equity stake in INM, with the media company launching a cash call to offer existing investors the opportunity to subscribe for additional shares at a rights price of €0.05. The restructuring, coming on top of an asset disposal programme, would see a significant reduction in INM's net debt.

"The company believes that this consensual restructuring proposal provides a materially better outcome for all stakeholders than any other alternatives," INM said.