views

O'Brien bid to rescue INM

INTERNATIONAL News &amp; Media&rsquo;s dissident shareholder Denis O&rsquo;Brien yesterday unveiled his proposals for the struggling business, including the injection of&nbsp; &euro;100m (&pound;90m) of his own cash in return for a majority shareholding.<br /><br />INM, led by chief executive Gavin O&rsquo;Reilly, had been calling for its second-largest shareholder to outline his own solutions, after his vocal opposition to the board&rsquo;s plans to restructure its &pound;1.4bn debt. <br /><br />The refinancing hinges on the repayment of a &euro;200m (&pound;180bn) bond, for which the fourth standstill agreement with the bondholders ends next week. <br /><br />INM, which has a market value of around &euro;250m, proposes to repay part of the bond through a debt-for-equity swap that would pass a 45 per cent stake to the bondholders. <br /><br />But O&rsquo;Brien&rsquo;s advisers met with INM&rsquo;s banks yesterday to put forward an alternative proposal, under which&nbsp; the bondholders would receive some cash up-front plus a smaller amount of equity. <br /><br />Sources close to the rebel shareholder said the offer of a new cash&nbsp; injection had &ldquo;caught the attention of the banks&rdquo;.<br /><br />The O&rsquo;Reilly camp last night questioned whether banks or bondholders would be attracted by the new plan, which is markedly different from the one that has been laboured over since May.