Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Independent News moves resolution for APN director clean-out

Independent News moves resolution for APN boardroom clean-out

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Independent News & Media, the Irish media group controlled by billionaire Denis O'Brien, wants a complete clean-out of APN News & Media's boardroom after gunning for chief executive Brett Chenoweth's head last week.

The Irish group has made an official request for a general meeting that would put APN directors Chenoweth, Melinda Conrad, John Harvey, Kevin Luscombe, John Maasland and chairman Peter Hunt on the block. The survivors would include INM's appointees Paul Connolly, Vincent Crowley, former INM director Peter Cosgrove and deputy chair Ted Harris.

The boardroom stoush emerged last week, and has been linked to Chenoweth's plans for a pro-rata capital raising that has the blessing of adviser Macquarie Capital. APN said another announcement regarding the capital raising and other matters will come later today and the stock remains halted in the meantime.

INM holds about 29 percent of APN, and O'Brien has a further 1.8 percent on his personal account, and could force APN’s hand with the support of fund manager Allan Gray’s 20 percent stake in the company.

Allan Gray managing director Simon Marais told the Australian Financial Review last week he opposed the rights issue, and has previously said he favours a tie-up with Fairfax Media Group, of which he's also a substantial shareholder.

Angus Gluskie, head of Sydney-based White Funds Management, doesn't specifically follow APN, but says a cheap offer to raise capital could attract interest from bargain hunters as the downturn in media starts to abate.

"You can see some potential appetite because the cycle is turning more favourably," Gluskie said.

INM agreed to sell its South African unit for 2 billion rand to a consortium led by Sekunjalo Holdings on Sunday, according to a Reuters report. That leaves APN as its only operation outside Ireland.

APN is grappling with falling advertising revenue and plans to sell non-core media assets in New Zealand following a strategic review of operations in this country. It took an A$485 million charge against its New Zealand publishing assets unit as part of the ongoing review.

The stock, which was halted last week at 30 Australian cents, is rated an average 'underperform' based on 11 analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters with a median target price at 31.5 Australian cents. That gives it a market capitalisation of A$199.5 million, compared to the A$900.6 million enterprise valuation.

INM has gone through its own boardroom battle in recent years after O'Brien successfully ousted the O'Reilly family, after a ceasefire between the billionaires in 2009.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news