Dissident O'Brien Ups IN&M Stake to Over 26%

31 October 2008

DUBLIN: Irish telecoms magnate Dennis O'Brien (pictured) likes Independent News & Media. Indeed, he's so fond of the international newspaper group that he's now within an arm's length of grabbing its helm, having acquired over 26% of IN&M stock.

He's less enamoured, however, of the group's controlling O'Reilly family, led by former Heinz beanz baron, Sir Anthony of that Ilk, who holds 28% of IN&M's equity.

The latest O'Brien move gives him the right to block resolutions put to IN&M's shareholders – moreover he's less than 3.9% away from outright control.

The main bone of contention between the Irish corporate brawlers is IN&M's two flagship national newspapers – The Independent and its Sunday sibling – both of which are deeply in the red. O'Brien wants to dispose of them; O'Reilly doesn't.

The warring tycoons are now firmly in the grip of that ancient Chinese curse: 'May you live in interesting times'.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff