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

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news