Bidding War For Fairfax Underway As New Buyer Makes $3 Billion Counter Offer

Bidding War For Fairfax Underway As New Buyer Makes $3 Billion Counter Offer
SHARE
THIS



Fairfax’s on-again/off-again takeover by a US private equity firm has taken an unexpected turn today with a new bidder apparently showing interest in the publishing business.

Fairfax has today announced that the San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman has offered to buy 100 per cent of Fairfax for a reported $3 billion – that’s about $250 million more than what had been offered by the original suitor, the private equity firm TPG.

Hellman & Friedman are reportedly well established in the media game and own such brands as marketing and communications firm Young & Rubicam, Eller Media and Internet Brands. It had previously owned one of Germany’s biggest publishers Axel Springer, the publisher of German newspapers Die Welt and Bild, but has since sold those assets.

Fairfax Media is reporting that the board will consider both offers – although the latest one does look the more attractive of the two – and has said it will open its books to both bidders so they could conduct due diligence and establish if an acceptable deal could be agreed on. You would also expect TPG to make another counter offer following today’s news.

Yesterday, at a senate committee hearing into the future of journalism, politicians aired their concerns about foreign buyers buying Australian media assets and, then very probably, stripping them and selling them.

As The Australian Financial Review’s James Thomson noted in his opinion piece today: “That Fairfax has a second foreign suitor might not please some politicians, given Labor’s grandstander in chief, Sam Dastyari, was so keen on Wednesday to have Treasurer Scott Morrison impose conditions on a foreign bid for the company.

“But two bids should give the politicians something to work with too. Which company will make the biggest promises to safeguard journalistic independence and quality? Or even jobs?

“Barbarians at the front gate and the back gate mean Fairfax is well and truly in play. But if this situation is exploited as it should be, it should also mean a better deal can be struck for investors and the broader community,” Thomson wrote.

 

Latest News

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Media

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018

Digital player Sugar Agency has been crowned the winner of this year’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ competition by Fairfax Media. Launched by Fairfax’s chief revenue officer, Matt Rowley, at the company’s 2018 Agency Symposium, the challenge aims to encourage agencies to push creative boundaries by using rich media formats to develop a campaign that promotes their agency. […]

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy
  • Advertising
  • Media

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy

An ex-sales director from APN Outdoor is trying his hand at consulting to advertisers looking to spend some coin in the out-of-home market. After 13 years at APN leading its national direct sales and then its NSW agency sales teams, Tim Rose resigned from the business in shortly before it had agreed to be sold […]

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account
  • Media

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account

Independent media agency Taska Media has secured the entire national media business of Australia’s largest consumer events company Exhibition & Events Australia (EEA). The deal that will see the agency deliver a full suite of television, radio, out of home, digital, partnerships and publisher-focused media buying. The boutique agency said it won the account for EEA […]

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office
  • Marketing

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office

Consulting firm Ministry of Culture (MoC) has announced the expansion of its US-based business to Australia with a new office in Sydney. It is the first international office for the US group, which will focus on providing cultural transformation, consumer insights and culture creation to Australian and Asia-Pacific clients. MoC’s Australian founder, David Art Wales […]