PricewaterhouseCoopers is set to signal doubts over the future of Independent
News and Media when the international media company files its accounts for 2008
The Financial Times reported that PwC, INM’s auditor, will sign off the
accounts but include an ’emphasis of matter’ paragraph, drawing attention to
continuing negotiations over a €200m ($260m) corporate bond which is due to be
repaid 18 days later.
‘Emphasis of matter’ paragraphs in audit reports signal some doubt as to
whether that company could continue as a going concern.
The accounts of Sir Anthony O’Reilly’s international media company will be
filed on the last day allowable under European Union law after negotiations
between the company and a group of bondholders failed to reach a conclusion, the
FT said, citing people familiar with the situation.
The same people said that discussions were still very active and all parties
would be aiming to reach agreement, the FT said, or to negotiate a “standstill”
position, by May 18, the due date of the bond, to avoid more serious problems
for the company, which owns the Independent and Independent on Sunday in the UK.
The FT said it has been told that Sir Anthony, who owns 28.1% of INM, and
Denis O’Brien, who owns 26%, are prepared to put some of their own cash towards
retiring some of the bond, but would draw the line at a combined figure of about
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