Rinehart circles Fairfax

Staff Writer

Following Gina Rinehart's unsuccessful request for two board seats on Fairfax, the mining magnate is now becoming openly aggressive towards the board, attacking how it has performed.

Her dissatisfaction is particularly directed at Fairfax Media's Chairman, Roger Corbett, challenging him to articulate to shareholders his plan for improving the position of the company.

Rinehart has also confirmed that she has increased her ownership stake in Fairfax, in an on-market purchase, to over 13%. Fairfax Media is the 100% owner of the Fairfax Radio Network.

Rinehart has said; ''There are questions to be raised concerning the current chairmanship that has presided over both an approx 60 per cent loss in share-market value and continuous loss of circulation of all its major mastheads, which in turn affects revenue. 

Answers need to be given as to how the chairman will address this in the interests of all shareholders, rather than merely hoping for improvements in circulation, revenue and share price, or perhaps trying to blame … industry conditions.''

When asked if she would continue to request representation on the board, she commented;

'It is too early to say if (my company) will hold its more than 13 per cent shares in Fairfax or sell them or find some other satisfactory resolution.''

Were Rinehart to exit her 13% this would place enormous pressure on the already struggling share price. Rineharts latest comments come only days after a Fairfax Director wrote to Fairfax Radio asking for details of 2UE Breakfast Presenter Jason Morrison's comments criticising the board (see here).

Fairfax Media shares yesterday closed up 3.2% at 64.5c.

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