Fairfax Media has issued a trading halt to shareholders amid speculation that the company will spin off its real estate business into a separate entity.
Fairfax said in an ASX statement yesterday that the trading halt was issued “pending a release of an announcement in relation to the Domain Group”.
The trading halt comes after the Fairfax-owned Australian Financial Review revealed the company is being advised on the move by Macquarie Capital and the new business will be run by Domain CEO Anthony Catalano.
According to the AFR, Fairfax would retain between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of Domain under the separation plan, which is designed to let a market value be placed on the real estate business, which delivered 40 per cent growth in Fairfax’s earnings to $120 million during the 2015-16 financial year.
Fairfax is expected to report its results for the first half of this financial year tomorrow, but the company’s shares could remain in a trading halt until the market opens on Thursday.