As was widely expected, US private equity firm TPG has increased its offer for Fairfax Media to $2.7 billion. The new offer is half a billion more than the original $2.2 billion announced a week ago, however, TPG would want the entire company not just select assets as per the original deal.
The Fairfax board was due to vote on the TPG offer today, however, that now seems unlikely with TPG’s new offer overnight.
Fairfax Media is this morning reporting the board is “reviewing the revised, indicative, preliminary and non-binding proposal and would update shareholders when it had been fully assessed.”
However, the new $2.7 billion offer appears well short of the $3.1 billion that Fairfax believes the company is worth in its entirety.
TPG’s original offer was only for Fairfax’s main assets including its mastheads and the highly-prized Domain real estate website. It didn’t included its assets in New Zealand, Macquarie Radio interests or 50 per cent share in the SVOD player Stan.
The Fairfax board is loathed to break-up the company and believes the unsold assets would struggle on their own.
Shareholders were apparently interested in TPG’s offer if it included all of Fairfax and the private equity firm was willing to pay the asking price of $3.1 billion. However, if TPG’s bid were to be successful, it could still sell off parts of the company and possibly restructure it.
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