O’Reilly completes Indie takeover

Mirror Group has sold its stake in the Independent newspapers to Tony O’Reilly, the Heinz millionaire, in a deal believed to be worth around pounds 45 million.

Mirror Group has sold its stake in the Independent newspapers to

Tony O’Reilly, the Heinz millionaire, in a deal believed to be worth

around pounds 45 million.



The deal was concluded on Wednesday after talks lasting just over six

months. As a result, O’Reilly’s company, Independent Newspapers, takes

full control of News-paper Publishing - the broadsheet titles’

publishing company - acquiring both Mirror Group’s 46.4 per cent holding

and the 8 per cent stake held by the Spanish media group, Promotora de

Informaciones.



The titles will remain at Canary Wharf and Mirror Group will continue to

provide printing, distribution and management services to Newspaper

Publishing through a new five-year contract with O’Reilly.



Independent Newspapers, which will reportedly invest upwards of pounds

20 million in the Independent and Independent on Sunday over the next

four years, has also agreed to pay off the pounds 26 million debt Mirror

Group has accrued since acquiring its stake in the titles in late

1993.



In addition, Mirror Group will receive pounds 3 million in cash as well

as payment for its management services.



In an official statement, Independent Newspapers said: ’Newspaper

Publishing’s prospects will be significantly enhanced by it coming under

Independent’s full control, with greater access to Independent’s

marketing skills and editorial focus.’



David Montgomery, Mirror Group’s chief executive said: ’This deal is in

the best interests of all three parties. It stabilises the shareholding

structure in Newspaper Publishing for the longer term. It converts our

investment in Newspaper Publishing into a significant and ongoing

contributor to our bottom line.’



Perspective, p18.