Fairfax ends Singleton hopes for Macquarie bid

Fairfax ends Singleton hopes for Macquarie bidPHOTO: Fairfax Media

Singleton Consortium, headed by media entrepreneur John Singleton, has struck out with a possible bid for Fairfax Media’s Macquarie Media shares, with the publisher denying it entry to its data room.

Fairfax confirmed it had received a letter from Mr Singleton and advisor Mark Carnegie on Friday, inquiring into the company’s 54 per cent share in the radio business. The letter, addressed to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood, requested access to the company’s books in order to conduct due diligence and secure funding to make an offer.

Singleton letter cropped

Macquarie Media is separately listed on the ASX. Fairfax made it clear that it had not actively sought offers for the reinvestment of its Macquarie Media shares.

Mr Singleton merged the radio network with Fairfax in 2015 in a deal worth $200 million. He is currently represented on the board by non-executive director Louise McCann.

Private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and TPG Capital are currently conducting due diligence for Fairfax Media. The process started at the end of May and is expected to take six weeks. Final offers are expected in coming weeks.

On May 8, Fairfax Media received an indicative offer from TPG Capital and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan valued at $2.5 billion for the company’s main mastheads and the Domain real estate business. The offer was revised a week later to $2.7 billion for the whole business. Several days later, a rival bid was made by Hellman & Friedman at $3 billion.

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