Ex-Domain CEO Antony Catalano Gives Up On Trying To Block Nine-Fairfax Merger

Ex-Domain CEO Antony Catalano Gives Up On Trying To Block Nine-Fairfax Merger

The former boss of Domain, Antony Catalano, has decided against appealing the Federal Court’s decision to approve Nine’s takeover of Fairfax Media.

Catalano tried to block the deal prior to Fairfax shareholders voting in favour of the takeover last month, offering to purchase 19.9 per cent of the company’s shares and returning cash to shareholders by selling non-core assets.

However, Fairfax said Catalano’s offer was not able to be considered as an alternative to the deal with Nine because it “[did] not constitute a superior proposal”.

Catalano then launched an application in the Federal Court to scuttle the Nine-Fairfax merger with the help of Aurora Funds Management, but was unsuccessful, with the deal clearing the final hurdle.

Both Catalano and Aurora have until Friday to appeal the Federal Court’s decision. However, the ex-Domain CEO, who holds roughly one per cent of Fairfax and Domain shares, has told The Sydney Morning Herald he does not intend to try and block the decision once more.

“Nine has executed a brilliant takeover of some of Australia’s best media assets at extraordinarily good value for Nine shareholders, and I wish [Nine chief executive] Hugh Marks and his team great success,” Catalano said.

Nine and Fairfax are expected to start trading as one entity from Monday, with CEO Hugh Marks revealing earlier this week that 144 roles would be made redundant as part of the merger.

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