views

O'Brien threatens to block INMdebt for equity swap

INDEPENDENT News &amp; Media&rsquo;s rebel investor Denis O&rsquo;Brien last night threatened to scupper a deal that would help to reduce the struggling media group&rsquo;s debt pile.<br /><br />He has proposed a resolution that would allow shareholders to vote on any deal that could dilute their stakes, potentially blocking INM&rsquo;s attempt to refinance a &euro;200m (&pound;176m) bond through a debt-for-equity swap.<br /><br />INM investors gave the board the right to issue new equity at the firm&rsquo;s annual meeting in June. But O&rsquo;Brien said this move was intended for a fundraising in which shareholders could participate &ndash; not a debt for equity swap. <br /><br />If the new resolution is passed, it would be impossible for INM to move forward with any debt reduction plans without seeking the consent of its shareholders.<br /><br />INM last night said that any plans would be put to shareholders, but that it needed to balance the needs of&nbsp; bondholders and banks also.<br />