Fairfax confirms plans to spin out Domain after private equity bidders drop away

Photo: Glenn Hunt/Getty Images

Fairfax Media is going ahead with the ASX float of its growing Domain online property listing business following the end of talks with two private equity groups.

The company says it has stopped talks with both the TPG Consortium and Hellman & Friedman because it hasn’t received a binding offer for the whole of Fairfax from either.

TPG confirmed at the weekend that its $1.20 a share indicative, valuing the company at around $2.76 billion, would not proceed.

Fairfax shares last traded at $1.10.

“The Fairfax board believes the company has an attractive future and throughout this process has continued to pursue its standalone business plans including the separation of Domain,” the company said in statement to the ASX.

CEO Greg Hywood says the company is making excellent progress in preparations, including progressing regulatory approvals, for the float by the end of 2017.

“We will provide a complete update at our full year results,” says Hywood.

“Fairfax is continuing its strategy to actively manage its portfolio and drive value from each of its businesses.”

In a trading update, Hywood says the company is performing on trackwith full year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) expected to be between $262 million and $266 million.

Overall group revenues are around 6% below last year for the second half.

Domain overall revenue is up 10% with its total digital business up 22% and accelerating.

Metro Media is down about 12%, Australian Community Media is down 11%, New Zealand Media is down around 4% including currency impact and Macquarie Media is down around 5%.

Fairfax is due to report full year results on August 16.

Disclosure: Fairfax Media owns Allure Media, Business Insider Australia’s publishing company.

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