IN&M sells iTouch for €100m


28 Apr 2005

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It emerged today that Independent News & Media (INM) has sold its 37.4pc stake in iTouch to For-side.com for about €100m in cash.

The sale of IN&M’s stake in the company was agreed at €0.65 as part of For-side.com’s offer for the entire share capital of iTouch.

The price represents a 26.6pc premium to iTouch’s closing price on 27 April and represents a return of more than 300pc on IN&M’s original cash investment in the company.

“We are happy that a small idea, started in South Africa, has worked to the benefit of the whole group in such a spectacular fashion,” said IN&M CEO Sir Tony O’Reilly.

“Having first identified and invested in this fledgling start-up back in 1997 and having listed on the London Stock Exchange in August 2000, the receipt of €100m in cash will represent a remarkable and most rewarding journey for all of our shareholders,” O’Reilly stated.

It is understood that IN&M intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the non-core asset for general corporate purposes and to enhance its publishing brands.

It has been mooted that IN&M is most likely to invest heavily in its expansion into the fast-growing Indian newspaper market.

By John Kennedy