APN News and Media shares jumped today when they came out of a trading halt as 30% of the media group’s shares changed hand.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp picked up another 10% to take its stake to 14.99% in the Australian and New Zealand publisher.
Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien’s Independent News & Media sold 191 million shares valued at $180 million. O’Brien’s investment vehicle, Baycliffe, also sold 125 million shares for $117 million.
Chairman Peter Cosgrove said this was a defining moment for APN.
“The successful sale of approximately 30.8% of the company’s capital is a strong endorsement of the growth trajectory and potential of the company,” he said.
APN owns the New Zealand Herald and has three of the top five national radio networks. In Australia, it publishes 19 daily and more than 80 regional non-daily newspapers.
APN shares are trading almost 6% higher at $0.995.