Singo on Fairfax – Is it on again?

Staff Writer

While no formal deal is on the table, Singo is open to acquiring Fairfax, and is also looking to repair his relationship with the Fairfax chair, Roger Corbett

But he would also consider selling Macquarie Radio to private equity firms.


In an interview with The Australian today, John Singleton said:

“I leave it to my partners, in this case Carnegie and Tate. If they come to me at any time and say we should buy or sell for these reasons, I’ll say yes or no,” he said.

Earlier in the year his company made a $180 million offer for the group which was rejected by the Fairfax board. Singo at the time came out fighting with a well documented rant in the press and on his station.

In The Australian today, he has changed tack with Roger Corbett saying:

“Roger and I were friends. We worked together very well for many, many years when we were young men and I want our careers to end as friends, not me saying silly things,’’ he said.

“What’s done is done. I never apologise but I am very guilty of speaking stupidly and out of order too often and long may it be so.

“The comments were stupid. Why would you say that about a guy you like? Particularly seeing we worked together 40 years ago. We had such a great relationship for such a long time.”

When it comes to the current value of Fairfax radio Singo said he has “no idea” of its current value, but did say in the story:

“I’ve always said this — we’ll sell for 10 times earnings, we’ll buy for 10 times earnings — and unless there’s a good reason why that’s changed, I can’t see why that would change.”

Would he sell Macquarie Radio Network?

“There are other alternatives as well. Every media company is for sale, including ours, and there’s a lot of private equity money out there,’’ he said to The Australian.

“Macquarie Radio is not for sale but there are people who want to buy it and if they keep offering more and more, it will come to a stage where a recommendation is made to me.

“But none has been and I don’t get involved in discussions that are a waste of time. Only when there’s a recommendation I'll take it, mostly.”

Singo also talks about his love of radio and his 20 years owning 2CH. You can read more in The Australian here.

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