Gina Rinehart threatens to sell Fairfax stake
Published: 26th Jun 2012 03:21:05
Gina Rinehart has threatened to sell her stake in Fairfax Media if she is not offered seats on the firm's board "without unsuitable conditions".
The mining magnate recently increased her stake to 18.67% in Fairfax and has reportedly asked for three board seats and more editorial control.
However, there are concerns that such a move may hurt Farifax's independence.
Ms Rinehart, who is Australia's richest woman, is opposed to the government's mining and carbon tax plans.
"Unless director positions are offered without unsuitable condition, Mrs Rinehart is unable to assist Fairfax at this time," her firm Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (HPPL) said in a statement.
"HPPL may hence sell its interest, and may consider repurchasing at some other time."
Fairfax is one Australia's biggest media companies and two of its papers, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, are key players in the country's newspaper market.
According to a report carried by The Age last week, Ms Rinehart has sought to have a say in the appointment of editors of the firm's newspapers.
That had led to concerns that she may interfere in the company's editorial decisions.
Australia's Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, warned that such a move may lead to "crisis of confidence among the readership".
He said that if readers lost faith in the papers' editorial independence, they may stop reading them, and that would hurt their circulation and eventually the firm's profits and share price.
The firm's share price has already plummeted more than 85% in the past five years.
Meanwhile, Treasurer Wayne Swan warned that editorial interference by Ms Rinehart would have "very big implications for our democracy".
Ms Rinehart's threat to walk away from Fairfax comes just as she has bought more shares in Ten Network, one of Australia's five main free-to-air television stations.
According to a statement from the Australian Securities Exchange, the mining magnate purchased a further 39 million shares for some A$20m ($20m; £13m) after the Ten Network issued new shares to its investors in June.
Ms Rinehart now owns 143.7 million shares in the firm, which amounts to a 10.6% stake.
Other well-known media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer have also upped their shares in Ten.
Mr Murdoch spent A$35.7 million on 256.9 million new shares, while Mr Packer, who owns about 9% of Ten, also took up his full entitlement of new shares.
The purchase of new shares does not increase these investors' stake in the television station.
At 19:55:52 in SportBotswana's Nijel Amos produced a stunning run down the final straight to beat Kenyan David Rudisha to 800m Commonwealth gold.
At 19:51:37 in EnglandA former PC who was inside the police control box at Hillsborough has denied witnessing the start of a "cover-up".
At 19:49:45 in WalesFive people arrested by North Wales Police in connection with a fraud investigation work for a Gwynedd bus company, BBC Wales understands.
At 19:45:31 in Northern IrelandAn investigation has been launched into a "serious data breach" after medical files were found by children at a former health centre owned by SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell.
At 19:45:07 in SportJersey's Zane Duquemin has finished eighth in the discus at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
At 19:36:49 in EnglandRinging 999 for a lift after missing a bus or train has been one of the most common "inappropriate" calls received by police in Norfolk.
At 19:33:40 in SportA Thai consortium is to invest in Reading after chairman Sir John Madejski confirmed the deal.
At 19:32:06 in SportFormula 1 is heading into its summer break, so it is a good time to reflect on the season so far.
At 19:29:04 in SportEngland swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has described her time at the Commonwealth Games as "crazy" after winning six medals in Glasgow.
At 19:19:08 in SportNorthern Ireland 800m runner Katie Kirk improved her personal best for the second time in two days as she finished sixth in her semi-final in Glasgow.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Gina Rinehart threatens to sell Fairfax stake [Online] (Updated 26th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1436856/Gina-Rinehart-threatens-to-sell-Fairfax-stake [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
The number of listings offering illegal drugs for sale on the "dark net" appears to have more than doubled in less than a year, BBC News has learned.
Five people arrested by North Wales Police in connection with a fraud investigation work for a Gwynedd bus company, BBC Wales understands.
The Metropolitan Opera in New York says it hopes last minute negotiations with unions will avoid a staff lockout.
The owner and head foreman of a farm in Greece have been cleared over the shooting of a group of migrant workers in which 30 were wounded.
Botswana's Nijel Amos produced a stunning run down the final straight to beat Kenyan David Rudisha to 800m Commonwealth gold.
An investigation has been launched into a "serious data breach" after medical files were found by children at a former health centre owned by SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell.