Belfast Telegraph

Dublin court to consider takeover of Tele owner INM

By Shane Phelan

The proposed €145.6m (£130.6m) takeover of Belfast Telegraph owner Independent News & Media (INM) by Belgian-Dutch newspaper publisher Mediahuis will be considered by Dublin's High Court later this month.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton set July 30 as the date for a hearing, which is one of two remaining hurdles that must be cleared before the takeover can be completed. The other is ministerial approval, a decision which is expected by August 1.

INM is the publisher of several leading newspapers, including Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life, as well as and

In the Republic it publishes the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Herald and a number of regional newspapers.

The takeover has already been approved by the Republic's Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

At a brief hearing in the Commercial Court, counsel for INM, Brian Kennedy SC, said the company was back before the court to seek directions regarding its application to confirm the scheme of arrangement under which the purchase is taking place. The scheme is a mechanism to complete a corporate transaction even if not all shareholders agree.

In INM's case the agreement of the holders of at least 75% of the shares in the company was needed before remaining shareholders could be forced to sell to ensure a full takeover.

Sign In

Mr Kennedy said a meeting of shareholders was held on June 26 and the requisite votes were obtained.

He said 85% of shareholders voted in favour of the resolutions.

Their shareholdings represented 94% of the value of shares in the company.

Mr Kennedy also said INM was hopeful ministerial consent for the takeover would be given before August 1.

Mr Justice Haughton said he was satisfied that previous orders he made in May had been complied with.

He also said he was satisfied there had been substantive notification of creditors regarding the passing of the resolutions.

The judge set July 30 as the date for the hearing and gave a deadline of July 22 for parties who may wish to oppose the takeover to make themselves known. Mr Kennedy said he was not aware of any such parties at present.

Belfast Telegraph