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Fairfax due diligence comes to an end

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Six weeks of due diligence has come to an end at Fairfax Media’s Sydney offices, with private equity firms TPG Capital and Hellman & Friedman now to decide if either wishes to make a formal bid for the company.

The publisher opened the doors to the data rooms at the end of May. A Fairfax spokesperson gave no indication yesterday whether the company would consider an extension, if requested.

TPG Capital and Ontario Teachers Fund were first to make a bid in on May 8, with the original offer of $2.2 million for real estate listings business Domain, the major metropolitan mastheads and Fairfax’s events and digital ventures. This was followed on May 15 with a revised offer of $2.7 billion for 100 per cent of the business.

Hellman and Friedman entered the bidding duel on May 18, offering about $3 million for the whole business.

Since the bids were made, TPG Capital Asia head Joel Thickins appeared before the parliamentary inquiry into the future of journalism, stating that the firm would sell the company within four to five years.

Last fortnight, Fairfax denied a John Singleton group access to the data room after he indicated a desire to make a bid for the publishers Macquarie Media assets.

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