INM DEAL TO CUT SHAREHOLDERS' STAKES - Yesterday, bondholders owed €200m by Independent News and Media overwhelmingly agreed to management's plans to restructure the ownership of the company and avoid a financial crisis.

The process, opposed by Denis O'Brien, will see bondholders take a 46% stake in the group and is being seen as the first phase of implementing a strategy to steer the group into clearer financial waters.

Satisfying the bondholders will see a massive dilution of the ownership of a company with interests and assets around the world.

Senior equity analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers, Gerry Hennigan, said INM's problems were a reflection of the fact that all media companies were caught by the downturn at the end of last year. He said INM was unfortunate as it had a lot of debt on its balance sheet at the time, and shareholders had paid the price for this.

Mr Hennigan said the only positive for shareholders was that the group would survive and could possibly benefit when markets recovered.

He said new shares would be issued to bondholders, then agreement would be signed with INM's banks and then a rights issue would be subject to a vote at an EGM of shareholders. The analyst said INM would still have a lot of debt and would have to try to reduce this to manageable levels.


NEWS AND CURRENCIES - Smurfit Kappa has reported a sharp fall in profits for the third quarter of this year, as revenue fell by 14% from the same period last year to €1.5 billion, while trading profits slumped 27%.

Tullow Oil is expected to average the equivalent of 58,000 barrels of oil a day, in line with previous estimates. The company is aiming to sell up to 50% of its interests in the Lake Albert Rift Basin in Uganda.

On the currency markets, the euro is worth $1.4694 and 89.55p sterling.