ARN parent in turmoil

Staff Writer

APN, the parent company of both ARN and TRN, have placed their shares in a trading halt today.

The move comes as one of APN's largest shareholders, the Independent News and Media Group, who control 28.95%, have called for the resignation of CEO Brett Chenoweth (right).

The INM, and Irish based company, have said it had;

“lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth’s ability to implement the strategic initiatives necessary to reposition APN for the more challenged media landscape that has emerged in Australasia"

“Notwithstanding its market leading positions APN has underperformed as evidenced by a near halving of APN’s interim profits in the period from the first half of 2010 to the first half of 2012.”

The INM said that they have advised APN of its position and is seeking an extraordinary meeting to ask all APN shareholders to vote on the removal of the Chenoweth. This will include the companys largest shareholder, Irish businessman Denis O'Brien, who holds 29.9% of the business.

APN this week downgraded their profit forecast by $8m despite significant cost cutting measures.

It is possible that APN may be considering a capital raising, releasing a statement saying;

"The securities of APN (will be) placed in Trading Halt…pending the release of an announcement by the company. Unless ASX decides otherwise (the halt) will remain (until) the commencement of normal trading on Tuesday 19 February, or when the announcement is released to the market".

 There has been no suggestion that The INM are concerned with the performance of ARN and TRN, their statement is directed at the performance of APN more generally.

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