Independent News & Media has confirmed the sale of its South African unit for two billion Rand (€170 million).

The heads of the deal were agreed in February, however the Irish media group said it had now entered into a binding agreement to sell INM South Africa to Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium.

The sale is subject to approval from the South African Competition Commissioner and also requires the consent of INM’s banks and shareholders.

The company says the proceeds of the sale will be used to repay senior debt.

INM CEO Vincent Crowley described the sale as “a key step in reducing group debt and strengthening our balance sheet”.

He said the company “remains in constructive discussions with our banks” in relation to refinancing and will give updates on this matter in due course.