Fairfax farewell date named
AFTER 177 years, Fairfax Media will next month cease to exist as an independent company when broadcaster Nine Entertainment buys the group out under terms announced last night.
Nine and Fairfax late yesterday published a scheme booklet revealing extra details about the deal they struck in July.
If shareholders and regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, back the buyout, Fairfax will be pulled off the Australian Securities Exchange at the close of trade on November 28.
The revelation came after Fairfax yesterday reported a fall in revenues across its newspapers and online real estate business Domain. Shares in Fairfax, Domain and Nine all plunged, wiping a combined $700 million off their combined value.
Revenue at Fairfax for the financial year so far was 5 per cent lower than in the same period a year ago, it reported.
Revenue in its flagship Metro Media division, which houses key titles including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, is down 1 per cent.
Fairfax’s rural media opera- tions reported a 10 per cent revenue slide while sales at its New Zealand media arm cratered 16 per cent.
Macquarie Media, which is 54.5 per cent owned by Fairfax and includes 3AW in Melbourne, was the only business to make any meaningful sales growth, reporting a 3 per cent rise. Domain, which is 59.4 per cent owned by Fairfax, posted a 1 per cent revenue slide. Fairfax spun off Domain last year, keeping its controlling stake.
Despite boasting crowd pleasers such as The Block, Nine said its ad revenue in metropolitan free-to-air TV was “broadly flat” the past quarter, and the market had been “slightly softer than expected”.
Citi analyst David Kaynes said the slide in revenue at Domain was an unwelcome surprise.
The Block contestants and former national netballers Bianca Chatfield and Carla Dziwoki.