News October 27, 2015

Gina Rinehart mulls Fairfax takeover

Former Editor

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s most wealthy person, may launch a takeover bid for Fairfax Media.

The mining heiress and Executive Chairman of privately-owned mineral exploration company Hancock Prospecting, bought in to Australia’s second largest newspaper publisher in 2012 and is currently the media company’s largest shareholder with a 14.99% stake.

According to The Australian, Rinehart is reportedly unhappy with the recent decline in value of Fairfax’s radio assets: ex-Southern Cross Broadcasting stations 2UE (Sydney), 4BC and 4BH (Brisbane), 3AW and Magic 1278 (Melbourne) and 96FM and 6PR (Perth).

Last week it was reported Fairfax Radio’s value was down 50% on what Macquarie Radio Network’s Director John Singleton said it was worth a year ago. Singleton valued its worth at $200 million, however reports last week suggested the network is now worth $100 million.

While 3AW and 96FM have been rating well, it’s believed 4BC is suffering while 2UE experienced a record low in the latest Radio Ratings Survey.

Rinehart has allegedly turned to her business associates to suggest who would be best to run it or sit on the Fairfax board should she launch a takeover bid. Reports say she has her eyes on former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett to manage it.

The news follows reports that Fairfax were looking to sell its radio assets to John Singleton for 7x its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation).

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