Fairfax Shares Rise During Bidding War

Fairfax’ shares have risen by 6.9 per-cent, taking them to a six-year high, after receiving competing bids for the company.

The competing bids come from Australian telecommunications company TPG and US private equity company Hellman & Friedman.

Hellman & Friedman are an established media investment company located in both New York City and San Francisco.

These bids mean the company is now valued at $3 billion.

However, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance WA Section President Martin Turner is concerned about what the future holds for Fairfax.

“The nature of equity funds is pretty ruthless in terms of organisations. On one level, it’s positive that there are people bidding for certain companies, because it shows that there is some value in it,”

“But how they might treat it as an asset is a moot point, and we do know the nature of these companies is, I guess similar to what Fairfax is doing at the moment, they look to see where they can reap the most value.”

Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon said the company will consider both bidders, in a statement on the stock exchange.

“We have carefully considered the indicative proposals and believe it is in the best interests of shareholders to grant both parties due diligence to explore whether a potential whole of company proposal is available,” he said.

He also asked shareholders to be patient as Fairfax is still planning to separate the Domain Group from the rest of the company, which is the company’s only growth asset.

Earlier this month, Fairfax announced it was cutting a quarter of its editorial staff.

Mr Turner said he’s worried there will be more cuts to staff as a result of the sale.

Fairfax’ emeritus chairman Brian Powers is leading Hellman & Friedman as they work to secure their bid.

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