Rinehart and Singleton Seek to Boost Say in Fairfax Media

Gina Rinehart, Asia’s richest woman, and John Singleton, an investor in publishing and broadcasting, said they agreed to work together to boost their say in the operations of Fairfax Media Ltd.. (FXJ)

Gutenberg Investments Unit Trust, of which Singleton is a principal, bought shares in Fairfax after the media company’s board rejected a sale or joint venture of their radio assets to Macquarie Radio Network Ltd. (MRN), Singleton said in an e-mailed statement today. He didn’t say how many shares Gutenberg bought.

Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting Pty has a 15 percent stake in Fairfax, making her the biggest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. She failed to get a seat on Fairfax’s board in June after disagreeing on conditions including signing Fairfax’s Charter of Editorial Independence.

“Both Gina and I believe that the lifeblood of Fairfax is the integrity and accuracy of its journalism,” Singleton said in the statement. “This in no way would be compromised if Hancock Prospecting and Gutenberg Investments had a significant say in the future of Fairfax.”

Fairfax is the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review and operates radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Rinehart and Singleton plan to file a statement with the Australian Stock Exchange Dec. 30 to inform the market of their holdings and association before developing any plans, Singleton said.

Fairfax Media faces many challenges in an ever-changing media market landscape and with the current soft advertising market, Rinehart said in the statement.

No further comment would be made at this time, Singleton said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joe Schneider at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

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