Independent News & Media (INM) has sold its 49pc interest in a German online price comparator for energy and telecom services.

INM sold its stake in Verivox Holdings Limited to VVX Investments Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oakley Capital Private Equity, for €18.3m in cash.

The proceeds from the sale of €18.3m include repayment by Verivox to INM of a €2.3m loan prior to 31 March 2010. The sale also includes an additional €1m payable in 2010, which is conditional on Verivox achieving targeted EBITDA for 2009.

INM will receive net proceeds from the sale of approximately €16m, which it said will be used to pay down senior debt.

Verivox’s consolidated pre-tax profit for the year-ended 31 December 2008 was €87,000. The gross assets of the Verivox Group as of 31 December 2008 were valued at approximately €27.5m.

INM said the Verivox sale, along with the sale of INM Outdoor which is expected to close this month, will bring the total proceeds raised from disposals this year to approximately €150m.

The company said this figure hits the target it set earlier in 2009 to raise cash from asset disposals.

According to INM, this disposal strategy, along with the completion of its restructuring plan, will allow it to retain its “global diversity and strong multimedia mix” and provide it with a “stable and secure financial platform”.