Earlier this morning Fairfax shareholders met and voted in favour of Nine’s takeover offer, with 81 per cent approving the plans for the companies to merge next month.
Two weeks ago the ACCC approved the Nine-Fairfax merger saying it will not substantially lessen competition in the Australian news industry.
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During the Fairfax AGM today, CEO Greg Hywood commented on the deal saying, “The merger creates a powerful growth engine.
“The combined group’s increased scale of audiences and marketing platforms will drive value-creation and deliver long-term benefits to shareholders.”
A spokesperson for Nine said, “Nine welcomes the result of the Fairfax Scheme vote as an endorsement of the opportunities this merger presents for both companies’ shareholders, our collective staff and for our clients and partners.
“We are now working very hard to realise the cost synergies and explore revenue opportunities that will enable us to continue to invest in great Australian content and journalism.”
The federal court will make the final decision on the deal on November 27, and if it clears that hurdle the first day of the operations for the combined company will be December 10.
After the deal closes, Nine shareholders will own 51.1 per cent of the combined entity, with Fairfax shareholders owning the remaining 48.9 per cent.
It also means the name Fairfax will no longer exist after being a major part of the Australian media landscape for 177 years.
The merged entity will be called Nine and will consist of the Nine Network, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The AFR, a majority stake in Domain, streaming platform Stan and a 54.5 per cent stake in radio network Macquarie Media.
Former Domain CEO Antony Catalano made a last minute play to stop the deal, approaching Fairfax overnight to buy close to 20 per cent of Fairfax and sell off non-core assets.
In a response to the reports, a representative for Fairfax said the letter contains no actual proposal that could be considered by Fairfax shareholders as an alternative to the arrangement with Nine.
They said, “The letter from Mr Catalano does not constitute a superior proposal under the terms of the scheme implementation agreement between Fairfax and Nine, and therefore the Fairfax board is unable to consider it in any event.”