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Private equity firm TPG Capital once again seeking new deal with Fairfax Media

Private equity firm TPG Capital is once again circling Fairfax Media, the Australian Financial Review reports.

The AFR – which is published by Fairfax Media – is reporting TPG Capital is seeking a deal which would see it take Fairfax Media’s Domain online real estate business along with the company’s three biggest mastheads – The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

The business publication has previously reported the private equity company was seeking a deal to acquire the publishing company however the rumours had come to nought.

According to the report, the deal would leave behind Fairfax Media’s NZ business – which had been seeking to merge with NZME -, Fairfax’s Australian regional newspaper division, its stake in the Macquarie Media venture and a 50% share of streaming network Stan.

While Fairfax Media is still looking to progress its plans to spin-off Domain, Street Talk suggests TPG is seeking a deal to pre-empt the proposed Domain spin-off.

The manoeuvring comes against a backdrop of government attempts to change the laws on media ownership, with the Turnbull Government announcing its new media reform package yesterday which will look to repeal the two out of three and 75% audience reach media ownership rules. If changed, it would remove barriers to companies owning media assets in multiple traditional channels in the same city, and spark a new wave of media consolidation.

Fairfax’s share price – listed as FXJ – closed on Friday worth $1.06, giving it a market capitalisation of $2.44bn.

Fairfax Media declined to comment.

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