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Alternative Market Briefing

TPG makes unsolicited bid for Australian newspapers

Monday, May 08, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Private equity firm TPG and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board have mounted an unsolicited bid for Fairfax Media, an Australian media company which runs several papers of record in the country. TPG has offered $0.95 cents per share for several of Australia's influential newspapers including the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age along with a real estate advertising business maintained by the company. If the offer is accepted Fairfax Media would retain a variety of regional newspapers and a streaming media service.

In an official statement, Fairfax said that it was reviewing the offer. However, the offer was almost immediately criticized in an editorial in the Australian Financial Review, noting how low TPG's bid is relative to valuations of those assets recently put forward by Goldman Sachs. TPG also included an exclusivity clause in its bid, which could limit Fairfax's options if the company decides to consider other offers. Australian politicians voiced concern about turning over several high-profile papers to foreign owners.

According to a piece in the Financial Times, the bid comes as Fairfax is nearing the finish line of its valu......................

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