Monday, July 20, 2009

Independent News & Media set for £20m cash boost - 20th July 2009

LONDON - Indebted newspaper group Independent News & Media is in line for a £20m cash injection after a deal was struck for its minority-owned Cashcade online gaming business to be sold to PartyGaming.

The group behind The Independent and The Independent on Sunday is in need of the money to help refinance a €200m (£172m) bond which was originally due to be repaid in May.

It is also attempting to sell its price comparison business Verivox.

IN&M owns 20% of Cashcade, which PartyGaming is buying for £100m.

PartyGaming is understood to be paying £75m of this upfront and the remaining £25m at a later date depending on the business's performance this year and in 2010.

Details of the sum IN&M is due to receive were unavailable but if proportionate it is likely to receive £15m now and £5m at the later date.

IN&M's current "standstill" agreement with the holders of the €200m bond is in place until July 24.

The Sunday Times has reported that the agreement is expected to be renewed until late August or early September.

The acquisition of Cashcade, which owns well-advertised bingo website, is likely to be the first of many in the sector for PartyGaming.

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