Antony Catalano’s 11th-hour plan to derail the Fairfax-Nine merger hits Federal Court

Antony Catalano’s 11th-hour plan to derail the Fairfax-Nine merger hits Federal Court
Antony Catalano’s 11th-hour plan to derail the Fairfax-Nine merger hits Federal Court

The now not so hip activist investor Nick Bolton has emerged as a backer of Antony Catalano’s 11th-hour plan to derail the Fairfax-Nine merger.

The former Domain CEO has confirmed he will mount a court challenge to the merger between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment.

Catalano says he has a superior proposal to the Fairfax-Nine merger, which was given shareholder approval last week.

He will ask the Federal Court to reject or defer the deal as he has support from shareholders.

"I have heard from a number of shareholders that would like to consider an alternative proposal," Catalano says.

Catalano says his court submission would outline a "range of concerns" with the Fairfax-Nine merger.

Controversial greenmailer Nick Bolton's investment vehicle Aurora Funds Management was set to appear before Judge Jacqueline Gleeson.

On the evening before the shareholder vote last Monday week, Catalano launched a dramatic eleventh hour bid to stall the merger by revealing he had a plan to implement a range of asset sales to deliver value to shareholders.

Catalano sent a letter to the Fairfax board at 8pm Sunday, with the board meeting to reject the proposal ahead of the 10am Monday shareholders' meeting.

The Fairfax board rejected the approach and proceeded with the long-scheduled vote of the merger.

Nine and Fairfax sources expect Catalano's court action to be unsuccessful.

And Herald Sun columnist Terry McCrann wrote Catalano was "not the 2018 version of the 1980s corporate raider and master manipulator Robert Holmes a Court. Not even close.'

"If Holmes a Court had pulled a stunt like the one you tried on Fairfax Media on Sunday night, it would have been an elegant combination of real financial substance, loaded with menace, and actually committing him to nothing."

"To call it an inept and rather embarrassing joke would be to give it more credibility than it deserved," McCrann wrote.

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