New owners promise investment in IoS

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The Independent Online
INDEPENDENT Newspapers, the Dublin-based international media group, has acquired control of the Independent and the Independent on Sunday. The new owners, who shared control with the Mirror Group until last week, immediately committed themselves to publish "serious and intelligent broadsheet papers of unimpeachable integrity".

Announcing the take-over in the City on Wednesday Brendan Hopkins, managing director of the new company, Independent Newspapers UK, announced an immediate programme of investment. "This is an historic day from our perspective. We've been waiting a long time for this," he said.

The board will include Chris Patten, the ex-Conservative MP and former Governor of Hong Kong, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Andreas Whittam-Smith, co-founder of The Independent, and Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post. They will be joined on the board by Dr Tony O'Reilly, former chief executive of Heinz and largest shareholder in the new company.

The board's commitment to investment and expansion was welcomed by Rosie Boycott, editor of both titles. "For the first time in a long time we have a really secure future. I cannot wait for it to begin," she said. Ms Boycott will form a working partnership with Andrew Marr, a former editor of the Independent, who becomes editor-in-chief in charge of comment pages. Such a partnership is unusual in Britain, though common in the US. Mr Bradlee said: "I believe it makes for very healthy journalism."