APN halts shares after shareholder calls for 'resignation' of CEO

APN halts shares after shareholder calls for 'resignation' of CEO

APN News and Media has placed its stock in a trading halt raising speculation of a capital raising after a news report claimed its largest shareholder has “lost confidence” in the CEO Brett Chenoweth.

A report carried on the Independent.ie website claims the Independent News and Media Group, a 28.9% stakeholder, has called for Chenoweth’s resignation as the company continues to struggle in the current market.

The company has been hit severely by the slow-down in the publishing industry in particular, and on Wednesday downgraded its profit prediction by $8m, despite claiming $25m in savings last year, and a further $25m to be made this year.

A statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today said trading had been halted to stop “speculative and uninformed trading” on the business, with an investigation into the comments underway.

It is also believed they are looking for a capital raising to help the company pay down debt.

In the Irish report it said the INM had released a statement which said it had: “lost confidence in Mr Chenoweth’s ability to implement the strategic initiatives necessary to reposition APN for the more challenged media landscape that has emerged in Australasia.

“Notwithstanding its market leading positions APN has underperformed as evidenced by a near halving of APN’s interim profits in the period from the first half of 2010 to the first half of 2012.”

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