US private equity firms bid for Australia newspaper empire

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The latest bid comes after TPG Capital offered A$1.20 a share for Fairfax.

The Indicative Proposals are subject to various conditions, including due diligence, Fairfax shareholder approval, and obtaining requisite regulatory approvals, including Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval.

Sydney-based Fairfax said it would ask both groups to do due diligence on the company ahead of a potential deal.

The Fairfax Board notes that there is no certainty that either of the Indicative Proposals will result in an acceptable offer for Fairfax, what the terms of any such offer would be, or whether there will be a recommendation by the Fairfax Board.

Earlier in the day, the committee heard from Paul Murphy, chief executive of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, who raised concerns about the impact of splitting Domain off from the rest of the Fairfax business and listing it on the ASX. "Traffic is dollars to us", Mr Hywood said.

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Hellman & Friedman has previously invested in Axel Springer, the German publisher that owns Business Insider.

Australian media oversight is much stronger than American media oversight, something these USA private equity companies will have to deal with.

The firm counts as its senior adviser and chairman emeritus Brian Powers.

The Fairfax board had been aware for a while that Hellman & Friedman had been sniffing around, but did not know of its intention to bid until it received notification on Wednesday evening.

While Powers will be taking an active interest in the current bid for Fairfax, the executive running the process for Hellman & Friedman is its deputy chief executive, Patrick Healy. She s also worked in television, magazines and online, and regularly contributes feature articles to The Sydney Morning Herald, MiNDFOOD and The Newcastle Herald.Angela also works as a content writer, creating written content for a number of SMEs across an array of industries, including real estate, education, technology and digital media.

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