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Bidding duel for Fairfax as H&F lobs $3b offer

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Global private equity firm Hellman & Friedman has made a $3 billion competing offer for Fairfax Media, valuing the company at between $1.225 and $1.250 per share, slightly topping the bid under consideration by TPG Capital.

The offer by TPG Capital and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan valued the business at $1.20 to $1.25 a share.

Fairfax Media is now allowing both private equity firms to conduct due diligence.

In a statement, Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon said: “The Fairfax board appreciates the support shareholders have demonstrated for Fairfax’s current strategy and the potential separation of the Domain Group.

“We have carefully considered the indicative proposals and believe it is in the best interests of shareholders to grant both parties due diligence to explore whether a potential whole of company proposal is available,” he said.

The offers are subject to due diligence, shareholder approval and regulatory approval from Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

This proposal is the third the company has received this month, counting an earlier proposal by TPG.

Hellman and Friedman is a San Francisco based firm which has invested in more than 80 companies in North America, Europe Australia and Asia. Some of these investments include Axel Springer, Formula One and Getty Images.

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