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Sale To Fairfax Near Completion

For release 9.15am Thursday 26 June 2003

Sale To Fairfax Near Completion


“INL is pleased that the sale of its New Zealand publishing business to Fairfax is very near to completion” INL Chairman, Ken Cowley said today.

“INL shareholders vote on the sale at a meeting on Monday, 30 June and, if the sale is approved at that meeting, the sale will be completed on that day” Mr Cowley added. Mr Cowley noted that the sale of the New Zealand publishing business to Fairfax for $1.188 billion represents a very attractive outcome for all INL shareholders. The INL Board believes that the higher INL share price since the sale was announced better reflects the inherent value of the New Zealand publishing business. The Directors are recommending the transaction to shareholders.

Mr Cowley said that the INL Board has been continuing to actively consider how the net sale proceeds (approximately $754 million) would be applied. “The key thing is to come up with a plan which works for all INL shareholders” Mr Cowley said.

The INL Board is evaluating a range of alternatives, including a substantial return of capital to INL shareholders and/or a restructuring of INL’s ownership interest in SKY Network Television Limited. “Shareholders can rest assured that we are not thinking about new fields of endeavour” Mr Cowley said. All of these alternatives involve a consideration of complex issues, including taxation implications for shareholders. INL is receiving expert advice on the various alternatives.

“While INL is working expeditiously on these matters, it would be imprudent for the Board to make any premature decision” Mr Cowley said.

“Ultimately the INL Board wants to develop a proposal that balances the interests of all INL shareholders and maximises the value of INL shares” Mr Cowley added. “When we are confident that we have a proposal that meets these objectives we will announce that to shareholders and, if appropriate, seek shareholder approval” he concluded.


Contact: Sean Wynne
Company Secretary/Legal Counsel
Independent Newspapers Limited

Independent Newspapers Limited is New Zealand’s largest media company, publishing nine daily newspapers in New Zealand and one in Australia, plus New Zealand’s two Sunday newspapers and the news and information website www.stuff.co.nz. In addition INL publishes a range of other weeklies and national magazines, including TV Guide and NZ House & Garden, operates New Zealand’s largest magazine distribution business and publishes over 60 community newspaper titles in New Zealand and Australia. INL also holds a 66% interest in Sky Network Television Limited, New Zealand’s pre-eminent pay television service. INL had total assets as of 31December 2002 of approximately $NZ2.1B and total annual revenues of approximately $NZ454M for the six months ended 31 December 2002.


ENDS

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