The Federal Court approves Nine Entertainment Co takeover of Fairfax Media

(Scott Barbour / Getty Images)

The Federal Court has approved Nine Entertainment Co’s takeover of Fairfax Media, despite opposition from former Domain boss Antony Catalano and Aurora Funds Management.

At a hearing on Tuesday morning, shareholders were given an opportunity to oppose the scheme of arrangement to join the two media companies, which saw Mr Catalano and Aurora submit separate notices of appearance.

One of the points of frustration for Mr Catalano was a decision by Fairfax not to delay a shareholder vote about the scheme on Monday last week. (Fairfax is the owner of this website and owns 59% of Domain.)

The Sunday before, Mr Catalano launched an 11th-hour offer and asked for the delay to allow investors to consider his proposal. He send Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon a letter in which he offered to buy up to 19.9% of the company’s shares and sell non-core assets.

Mr Catalano holds about 1% of Fairfax and Domain shares, while Aurora holds less than 1%. He has the right to appeal until December 7.

However, Mr Falloon told shareholders ahead of the vote that the letter “contains no actual proposal that could be considered by Fairfax shareholders as an alternative” to the scheme of arrangement with Nine, and continued with the vote.

More than 81% of Fairfax shareholders voted in favour of the deal, which was earlier approved by the competition regulator.

With the scheme going ahead, Nine shareholders are set to hold 51.1% of the combined company, with Fairfax shareholders owning the remaining 48.9%. Fairfax shareholders will get 0.3627 Nine shares and $0.025 cash for each share they hold.

This story first appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald. Copyright 2018. Read the original article here.

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