News Corp lifts stake in APN to 14.99% from 4.9%
March 19 (BusinessDesk) - News Corp, the global media group controlled by Rupert Murdoch, has lifted its stake in APN News & Media to 14.99 percent, buying shares from the target company's ling-term shareholders Independent News & Media and Baycliffe.
"APN is a high-quality portfolio of Australian and New Zealand radio and outdoor media assets and small regional print interests," News Corp said in a statement to the ASX. "It is led by a quality management team that has successfully driven improvements in the performance of the business."
Murdoch bought shares for about A$300 million as INM and Baycliffe sold out, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien controls INM and Baycliffe is his investment vehicle.
News Corp said the transaction was subject to regulatory approval. It previously held 4.9 percent.
Shares of APN were placed in a trading halt at the request of the company, pending what it said was a selldown by two major shareholders.
APN's ASX-listed shares have climbed 52 percent in the past 12 months, outpacing an 11 percent gain in the S&P/ASX 200 Index. The shares last traded at about 94 Australian cents before being halted.
Last month APN put off the public share float for its newly consolidated kiwi business, NZME, which holds assets including The New Zealand Herald, The Radio Network and GrabOne.