Rinehart’s stake now 18%

Staff Writer

It is game on for Fairfax Media with Gina Rinehart now believed to hold over 18% of the company, and believed to be looking to increase to a stake of 19.9%.

That figure is signficant as if any one shareholder goes beyond 20% they must have first made a takeover bid for the company. However, there is allowance for what is referred to as a 'creep' rule whereby her stake beyond 20% can increase by a maximum of 3% in a 6-month period.

Rineharts company, Hancock Prospecting, is believed to have bought over 80 million shares yesterday, and under the corporations act will have to notify both Fairfax and the ASX by tuesday. 

The raid comes at a time when Fairfax shares are at record lows, and the board has been under attack from many quarters, with John Singleton saying that their decision not to give Rinehart a seat was a massive 'corporate snub', he said;

"The trouble is she's from mining, she's from Western Australia, she's eccentric, she's not part of the Australia club, therefore null and void"

Only days ago Fairfax CEO revealed that revenue for the consolidated group had fallen 8% in the past 6 months which would lead to earnings before finance and corporate costs of $500m for FY12, down from $607m last year.

For one of Australia's oldest media companies, there is definitely movement at the station, and this will continue to evolve over the coming days, weeks and months.


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