Irish Examiner and associated media acquired by Landmark Media Investments through a financial restructuring

Wednesday 6 March, 2013

The Irish Examiner and a number of regional print titles and broadcast investments are being acquired by Landmark Media Investments Ltd. through a financial restructuring of Thomas Crosbie Holdings Limited (“TCH” or “the Group”) after a Receiver was appointed to the Group. The re-structuring and consequent acquisition provides a stable platform from which to build a sustainable business and helps sustain employment into the future.
Landmark Media Investments Ltd. is a holding company established and owned by Tom Crosbie, supported by his father Ted Crosbie.
As part of the re-structuring, the Sunday Business Post, will apply to the High Court for the appointment of an Examiner to the Company. Thomas Crosbie Printers Limited (“TCP”) is applying to the High Court for the appointment of a Liquidator to the Company which is insolvent and cannot continue trading.
The 554 people employed in the operations to be acquired will transfer to Landmark Media Investments Ltd. under existing employment terms and conditions and, where appropriate, in accordance with Transfer of undertakings legislation. Sunday Business Post, which employs 76 people, will continue to trade under the protection of the High Court and with the input of the Interim Examiner, if appointed. The Examiner, if appointed, will formulate a scheme of arrangement to insure the future viability of the newspaper. The Liquidation of TCP will regrettably result in the loss of up to 12 jobs.
The financial re-structuring, which has been carried out with the support of the Group’s banker, AIB can be summarised as follows:

  • A Receiver, Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed this morning to TCH and other Group companies.
  • The Irish Examiner, Evening Echo, Waterford News & Star and the Wexford Echo have been purchased by Landmark Media Investments Ltd. In addition, TCM, the digital and new media business and Recruit Ireland, the recruitment business have been acquired by Landmark Media Investments Ltd.
  • The Nationalist series, Western People and Roscommon Herald have been purchased by Landmark Media Investments Ltd. through share sales.
  • Landmark Media Investments Ltd. intends to purchase the radio shareholdings of TCH including WLR, Beat 102FM and Red FM, subject to BAI approval.
  • All titles and businesses acquired by Landmark Media Investments Ltd. will continue to trade under their current trade names.
  • All print titles will continue to publish as normal and all radio stations will continue to broadcast as normal.
  • The Sunday Business Post, will apply to the High Court for the appointment of an Examiner, including the appointment of an Examiner on an interim basis.
  • TCP is applying to the court for the appointment of a Liquidator and the company has ceased trading.

As a consequence of TCP ceasing to trade and presenting a winding-up petition, the former TCH titles will no longer be printed by Webprint Concepts Limited. The Landmark Media Investments titles will now be printed by the Irish Times.
AIB will provide further funding to Landmark Media Investments Ltd. to facilitate the development of the business to achieve sustainability.
The employees of TCH and TCP were appraised of the re-structuring by management at meetings this afternoon.

A commitment was given to maintain communications with Landmark Media Investments Ltd. employees over the coming weeks.
Landmark Media Investments Ltd. will be managed by Tom Murphy, CEO together with other members of the former management team.
Tom Murphy said: “Following a prolonged period of uncertainty, today’s developments represent an important opportunity for the Irish Examiner and associated titles and media to make a fresh start and that is very welcome news. In a challenging environment, this re-structuring and consequent acquisition provides a stable platform from which to build a sustainable business. I look forward to working closely with the management and staff to review and improve operations to successfully achieve this aim.
“I would like to thank all staff members for their support, commitment and especially for their patience in recent months.”


Ends

Note: Landmark Media Investments Ltd. is currently named Bontury Ltd. and is currently in the process of changing its name.

Issued on behalf of Landmark Media Investments Ltd. by Drury.

Contact:
Billy Murphy 012605000/0872313085 or Paddy Hughes 012605000/0876167811