INM chair and CEO disagree over possible acquisition

Newstalk is reported to have been the target of a takeover proposal - but INM did not pursue these plans

A statement from Independent News and Media last night confirmed a report in The Irish Times at the weekend that an issue had arisen between the chief executive of the media group, Robert Pitt and the chairman of the board, Leslie Buckley, "in relation to the terms of a possible acquisition by the company."

The statement does not name the acquisition target but both The Irish Times and Irish Independent suggest this morning that it was Newstalk.

Irish businessman Denis O’Brien is the majority shareholder in both Independent and Newstalk.

The statement says the chief executive raised the issue with the company’s senior independent director, former KPMG managing Partner, Jerome Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy established a sub-committee of the board to review the issue and the sub-committee reported to the full board that no issue of concern arose for the company.

The statement adds that discussions on the possible acquisition ended at a preliminary stage and the transaction was never considered by the board - and that the board and management remain fully focused on the business and day-to-day operations.