O'Reilly to pay pounds 5m for UK stake

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The Independent Online
INDEPENDENT Newspapers, Tony O'Reilly's Dublin-based publishing group, is paying up to pounds 4.8m for two-thirds of Capital Newspapers, a British local newspaper group, writes Gail Counsell.

Last Friday, Independent paid pounds 18.4m for a 24.99 per cent stake in Newspaper Publishing, which owns the Independent and Independent on Sunday, and on Wednesday it invested pounds 19.2m in a 31 per cent stake in Argus Newspapers, South Africa's biggest newspaper group.

The deal is subject to Department of Trade and Industry approval. Capital Newspapers publishes nine paid-for weekly newspapers with a total sale of about 51,000 copies, and five free newspapers with a distribution of about 120,000.

The two-thirds stake is being bought from Emap, the newspaper and magazine publisher, and Capital's Ray Tindle, who retains a one-third holding and becomes deputy chairman of Independent Newspapers UK. Independent already owns Greater London and Essex Newspapers.