‘Radio Peripheral’ says Rinehart

Staff Writer

The fight for control over Fairfax Media, owners of the Fairfax Radio network, has become even more heated overnight.

Following the board's refusal to allow her one seat, let alone the three she had reportedly asked for, Gina RInehart has issued an ultimatum to Fairfax Chairman, Roger Corbett. In a letter delivered yesterday, Rinehart has asked Corbett to resign if he fails to return the share price to 87c prior to November's annual meeting.

Rinehart also asks Corbett to explain why he hasn't sold the radio division, referring to the radio assets as "a peripheral business'.

We have linked to the complete letter, and the Fairfax response, below.

In the letter Rinehart said; 

''Where we have differed most profoundly is not over the charter of editorial independence, contrary to much Fairfax reporting, but over how to save a business that is reportedly in danger of dying……..and if the five-year decline in paid circulation and in revenue of the Fairfax mastheads do not reverse prior to the 2012 AGM, we ask that you tender your resignation at that meeting.''

Fairfax responded rejecting her request and advising her to make a takeover bid for the company if she wanted to exercise control over it. Fairfax commented in a statement; 

''Mrs Rinehart's letter today has once and for all unmasked her motives for her continual attacks on the company and its board" and called Rineharts continual attacks a "personal crusade''.

John Klepec, Chief Development Officer of Hancock Prospecting, Rineharts private company, stated that Rinehart would have limited influence as two board seats from 12 was not a majority voting position, going on to say; 'Mrs Rinehart has repeatedly advised that she would not use the publications to promote her private interests only,'' 

Fairfax have responded saying; ''Contrary to Mrs Rinehart's repeated assertions that this isn't about editorial control – it is. It is also about her obtaining control of the company and not paying a premium.''

Fairfax said that Rineharts track record as a media investor during a time when share prices have fallen, noting that Network TEN shares had fallen significantly since Rinehart joined that board.

Gina Rinehart is the single largest shareholder in Fairfax Media holding 18.7% of the company. If her holdings rise above 19.9% she is required to launch a takeover bid for the company.


See the first letter from Gina Rineharts Hancock Prospecting requesting the Fairfax Chairman resign here.

See the response, by way of public statement, from Fairfax Media regarding Gina Rineharts letter here.

See the Hancock Prospecting statement in response to the Fairfax statement here.

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