Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has taken a 14.99% stake in the Australian and New Zealand publisher APN News and Media.
New corp said: “APN has a high quality portfolio of Australian and New Zealand radio and outdoor media assets and small regional print interests. It is led by a quality management team that has successfully driven improvements in the performance of the business.”
Trading in APN was halted after about 30% of the company changed hands for about $300 million.
News Corp, which publishes The Australian newspaper and has daily newspapers in all state capitals except Perth, acquired a 10% stake to add to the 4.9% it already had.
The Australian Financial Review reported 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.
Investment group Allan Gray has a 15.5% stake in APN.
APN owns the New Zealand Herald and has three of the top five national radio networks. In Australia, publishes 19 daily and more than 80 regional non-daily newspapers.