Independent News and Media has confirmed an issue arose between its Chairman Leslie Buckley and CEO Robert Pitt over the terms of a potential acquisition.

In a statement the media group said Mr Pitt had raised issues over a possible takeover target, which led to the establishment of a board sub-committee.

The Irish Times reported that the dispute centred on the price tag of a proposed bid for national radio station Newstalk, which is owned by the Denis O’Brien controlled Communicorp, and the clash had led Mr Pitt to consider his position.

Mr O’Brien is the largest shareholder in INM.

In its statement INM said: “Discussions on the possible acquisition ended at a preliminary stage and the acquisition was never considered by the Board.”

It added “the Board and the Company’s management remain fully focussed on the business and in ensuring that day-to-day operations are conducted as normal”.

Yesterday, it was confirmed Gervaise Slowey has resigned as chief executive of Communicorp.

The company said Ms Slowey will be replaced by Adrian Serle, the former chief executive of the UK media company, Orion Media. 

In a statement, Communicorp said Ms Slowey will continue in her role until the end of the year when Adrian will take up the position. 

Apart from Newstalk, Communicorp owns a number of other radio stations in Ireland, including Today FM, and Dublin's 98FM – as well as several in the UK.