Telecoms billionaire shows his strength at Independent News

Telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien showed just how tight his grip on Independent News & Media is, when on Friday he led a shareholder revolt that saw the expulsion of the chairman and chief financial officer, the Irish Independent reported.

O’Brien, who has 29.9 percent of INM shares, is calling for change at Ireland’s largest media company, saying he believes “it is of the utmost importance for the company, its shareholders, its employees and its assets, that urgent, radical restructuring is undertaken immediately.”

Chairman James Osborne and CFO Donal Buggy were both voted off the board.

O’Brien has been gaining more power over the company since his rival, Gavin O’Reilly, stepped down as chief executive in April. O’Reilly’s departure marked the end of his family’s 30-year control over the media company and “years of bitter squabbling between O’Brien and the O’Reilly family,” Reuters noted.

Paul Connelly, a board member backed by O’Brien, kept his seat on the board, according to the Independent. Connelly has gone to court, seeking action against the company’s decision to pay O’Reilly a severance of €1.8 million.

Image: Sportige

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