August 19, 2009 / 6:49 AM / in 9 years

Independent News in talks on bond extension-paper

DUBLIN, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Independent News & Media (INME.I) is in talks about yet another extension to a standstill deal with holders of a 200 million euro ($282.7 million) bond that was originally due for repayment in May, The Irish Times reported on Wednesday.

The Irish publishing group has until Aug. 27 to agree a deal with bondholders but the newspaper, without citing any sources, said formal proposals for a fresh extension will be discussed on Wednesday in a conference call.

No-one at Independent News could immediately be reached for comment.

Investors are getting increasingly uneasy about Independent’s failure to secure a deal with bondholders despite months of negotiations.

Shares in the company, which is sagging under the weight of a 1.4 billion euro debt pile, have lost over 80 percent of their value over the past 12 months.

Last month Irish telecoms tycoon Denis O’Brien, who has a 26 percent stake in Independent News, warned that the future of publisher, which has operations in Ireland, Britain, Australia, South Africa and Asia, hung in the balance as talks dragged on. (Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.7074 Euro)

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