My view is Dennis O’Brien is playing hard ball with the bond holders and the banks. What I think will happen is that there will be a rights issue underwritten by O’Brien and the O’Reilly family (if they have any cash left). Bond holders will be given equity or warrants to keep them sweet.
Taylor Wimpey are raising £510M, DSG (Dixons) £310M so say €100M for Independent shouldn’t be out of the question
If Carlos Slim really is a shareholder he can afford to take up his rights! I repurchased some Indos after the Armistice, a high risk trade, so I kept it small.
You can see O’Brien’s hand in action already, the indefensible 17 person board is down to a manageable 10! While it is nice to have the ex-Prime Minister of the 2nd biggest country in the world as a director, it’s one of the few places in the world Independent have NO interests!
The London Indo will most likely be shut, or all but outsourced. Despite protestations about it and the flabby but worthy board not being the Chairman’s vanity projects, that is how I saw them.
The years of lucrative Irish property and job advertising hid the flaws in the group. The tide is out now. In 2008 the 4 O’Reillys on the board then only cost the group circa €2.5M, down from €3.5M in 2007, that could pay a bit of interest!!
IIRC Martin Naughton underwrote a rights issue for the Tribune in the 1990s, his daughter Fiona was then the distribution manager for the paper. Not sure if he has any holding now, Indo couldn’t raise their stake at the time. It is a candidate for the chop, any pinsters who can’t bear a Sunday without the Tribune who still have a tenner left after the weekend should express their interest to Mr O’Brien here http://www.communicorp.ie/contactus.php
That the printed newspaper business is in almost terminal decline is unquestionable, but it can still be run for cash and can still service copious amounts of debt. Managing the decline is what’s needed.
Kate, I totally agree with you about local papers needing the local notes and photos but you said
Kate P wrote:
Local papers seem to be seeing an upturn in advertising
Where did you see that?
Johnston Press (owners of Limerick Leader, The Nationalist & Munster Advertiser, Tipperary Star , Leinster Leader, Kilkenny People, Leinster Express, Offaly Express, Longford Leader Leitrim Observer Dundalk Democrat, and The Tallaght Echo) said on 13/5/09http://www.johnstonpress.co.uk/jpplc/me ... sp?ref=115
“Over the 19 weeks to 9 May 2009, total advertising revenues were down 34.4% compared to the same period last year.” This includes the UK, but Ireland is a big part of it.
'Whilst our market remains fragile, we have seen some stability in advertising revenue over recent weeks” A comment on the Irish market