Gina Rinehart draws first blood

Staff Writer

In her efforts to control Fairfax, Gina Rinehart has secured a boardroom seat for one of her closest allies.

Industry experts said Fairfax directors were extending an olive branch to Mrs Rinehart with their move yesterday to invite her confidant, Hungry Jack's founder Jack Cowin, on to the board.

Fairfax Chairman, Roger Corbett said of the appointment yesterday…

"Our discussions with Mr Cowin over recent months have made it clear that he has considerable value to add to the company. Jack is one of Australia's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs and directors"

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said…

"This is the perfect compromise solution. Ms Rinehart gets a representative on the board and they get some short-term relief. It is also a sign of a change in tactics with the resolution being worked out behind closed doors"

He also said Fairfax remained "vulnerable to a takeover" and more changes were needed at board level before the November annual meeting, with Mr. Corbett most at risk.

It was nonetheless a victory for Gina Rinehart, analysts said.

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