Denis O'Brien: share purchase

DENIS O'Brien may raise his stake in Independent News & Media further, a source close to the telecoms entrepreneur has said.

O'Brien raised his stake in the media group to 18.6% last week, buying shares understood to have been placed by Bank of Ireland. O'Brien purchased 168 million shares through four nominee companies, he said in a stock exchange statement. He is now the largest individual shareholder in the company and he is understood to be considering raising it further.

He had held about 26% of Independent's shares but saw the stake shrunk as part of the company's debt-for-equity restructuring with its bondholders. Shares in Independent News & Media rose 5% last Friday to 14 cents.

O'Brien's Caribbean mobile phone group Digicel last week lost a London High Court case against Cable & Wireless. He had claimed that Cable & Wireless damaged his attempts to break into the telecoms market in Trinidad & Tobago. Cable & Wireless said it would pursue Digicel for the costs of the case.