The Osborne Ultimatum


Denis O’Brien (top) and James Osborne.

In today’s Irish Times, former INM chairman James Osborne recalls the spat with Denis O’Brien which led to his exit from the company earlier this year.

Osborne goes back to Saturday, April 14th, when he says Denis O’Brien rang him and demanded an article about him in the following day’s Sunday Independent be pulled.

“I said, ‘No, that’s not what I’m going to do’,” Osborne explains. “It was an article that turned out to be pretty innocuous . . . about the biggest borrowers with Anglo and he was one of them.”


The Sunday Independent article by Tom Lyons was the first mention in an irish newspaper of the extent of Denis O’Brien’s borrowings with Anglo.

It reported that he owed the bank €833.08 million as of May 2009 “on foot of personal and corporate loans” (the article claimed the overall debt had been reduced to €500 million).

Making him Anglo’s sixth largest borrower.

And how did he acquire the debt?

Purchasing – at the top of the market – shares in INM.

‘I Don’t Mind A Bit Of An Oul’ Scrap Every Now And Then. That’s Me’ (Ciaran Hancock, irish Times)

Previously: Denis O’Brien: Dividends, Debt And Paying Back Anglo

So, You Know That Denis O’Brien Story…

Like A Spoilt Teenager

(Saso Lazarov and Eamonn Farrell/Photocall ireland)


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