Europe

Belfast Telegraph owners sold to Belgian firm for £126m

Belfast Telegraph clock
Image caption The Belfast Telegraph is being sold as part of the Independent News and Media group to Mediahuis, which is based in Antwerp

The parent company of the Belfast Telegraph is being sold to Mediahuis, a Belgian media group.

Mediahuis has agreed to pay €146m (£126m) for the Independent News & Media group (INM).

INM is the biggest newspaper publisher on the island of Ireland. Its other titles include the Irish Independent and the Sunday Life.

Mediahuis, which is based in Antwerp, owns a range of media interests in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Its titles include De Standaard in Belgium and De Telegraaf in the Netherlands.

'Compelling opportunity'

The deal is conditional on INM's largest shareholders, Denis O'Brien and Dermot Desmond, agreeing to the terms of the deal by 17:00 local time on Tuesday.

Murdoch MacLennan, chairman of INM, said: "We are pleased to be announcing this transaction today and believe it represents an excellent outcome for both the company and its shareholders.

"The offer from Mediahuis represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise cash for their shareholding in INM, at a price which fairly reflects the company's performance and standalone prospects."

Gert Ysebaert, chief executive of Mediahuis, said: "We believe that there is a clear rationale for the acquisition and that INM will thrive under Mediahuis' ownership.

"Furthermore, Mediahuis can contribute the relevant experience, skills and resources to invest in INM's brands and significantly enhance its operational and digital capabilities.'

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