Independent News & Media has said talks with its bondholders and banks on a restructuring of its debt have 'advanced significantly'. INM has been trying to hammer out a deal on a €200m bond which was due for repayment in May.

INM said that although details of any deal had yet to be finalised, it was likely to include a debt-for-equity swap and a subsequent issue of new shares at a price of five cent, significantly below its price of 31 cent in Dublin this lunchtime.

Listen to INM CEO Gavin O'Reilly's comments on Prime Time last night here.

Earlier, it emerged that a meeting was being held in Dublin today between representatives of businessman Denis O'Brien and a group of bondholders and banks owed money by INM.

It is understood that Mr O'Brien's representatives were presenting an alternative plan to the one currently being prepared by the management of INM to resolve the group's debts to bondholders.

Mr O'Brien owns a 26% stake in the group. His alternative plan involves an investment by him of €100m and a cash payment to bondholders.

A spokesman for INM has said that if Mr O'Brien has a viable and deliverable proposal, then the company, 'let's hear it'.

INM shares closed up 2.8% at 30 cent in Dublin.