Future financing of the 'Independent'

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IAN HAY DAVISON, chairman of Newspaper Publishing Plc, which publishes the Independent and the Independent on Sunday, last night sent the following message to staff:

'I am writing to tell you the current position of Newspaper Publishing Plc in the light of the discussions since our last board meeting on 21 December 1993. At that meeting the board agreed in principle a business plan for the next three years. This plan will involve new equity capital.

'The board was also notified by our Spanish and Italian shareholders and by three of the directors - Andreas Whittam Smith, Matthew Symonds and Adrian O'Neill - in their capacity as shareholders, of their collective wish to be part of the new enlarged capital structure and that they expect shortly to make detailed proposals in conjunction with an additional trade partner.

'In the light of this development the independent directors, led by myself, have been advised that we have a legal duty to explore all alternative sources of funding in order to compare with the proposals to be submitted by some of our existing shareholders. We are now doing this with a view to proposing arrangements that will produce the best solution for all our shareholders, our readers and our staff.

'As we stated in the autumn, Newspaper Publishing's financial position is secure through to the end of March 1994 and we are confident this will allow us to complete the necessary financial restructuring. Meanwhile, as Chief Executive, Patrick Morrissey will continue to manage the company on behalf of the board.'