The financially stressed Irish company Independent News & Media PLC (INM) has completely exited Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL) by selling its remaining 5.69% of equity held in the company.
In a statement, the Irish company has said, it sold 17.1 million ordinary shares in Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL) on the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India. With this, there is no strategic investor (FDI) in Jagran currently; however, FIIs (other than INM) still continue to hold the stock (about ~9%).
The proceeds from this share sale are approximately €32 million (Rs 195 crore), which will be fully used to further reduce bank debt consistent with our immediate priority and market guidance, the company added.
Having originally invested €28.5 million (Rs 173.4 crore) to acquire 26% stake in 2005, INM has received disposal proceeds of approximately €96 million (Rs 584 crore) as a result of share sales over the past 14 months.
The note added that “at the request of the Gupta family – the founder and majority shareholder in JPL – INM chief executive Gavin O’Reilly will continue to serve as an independent non-executive director of JPL.”
Gavin O’Reilly said, in the statement, “At the appropriate time, we shall continue to work with JPL and the Gupta family in exploring other ventures in what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting media markets in the world.”
The Irish firm will use the proceeds to reduce bank debt, sustaining leverage ratios and also focusing on leading brands in its core markets.