Catalano's Federal Court foray fails to stop Fairfax-Nine merger

Catalano's Federal Court foray fails to stop Fairfax-Nine merger
Catalano's Federal Court foray fails to stop Fairfax-Nine merger

Legal proceedings aimed at preventing a merger between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment have fallen short in the Federal Court.

Former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano had launched the challenge after Fairfax shareholders voted for the merger last week. 

Catalano argued Fairfax shareholders had not been given the opportunity to consider his proposal which included acquiring 20 per cent of the company’s shares.

Justice Jacqueline Gleeson approved the Nine-Fairfax scheme of arrangement after the ACCC gave it the green light earlier in the month. 

“I believed and continue to believe that at current share prices Fairfax shareholders were entitled to a better deal,” Catalano told The Australian.

“I have put my arguments to the court but I have not been successful. I respect the court’s decision and am unlikely to appeal, but I will reserve my rights until my legal team has had a chance to review Her Honour’s written decision.”

In his 11-page affidavit to the court yesterday, Catalano further outlined his alternative proposal to "deliver better value for Fairfax shareholders”.

Mr Catalano had voiced his opposition to the Nine merger by sending a letter to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon on the eve of the Fairfax shareholder merger vote.

In the vote, 81.49 per cent of Fairfax shareholders backed the deal.

Catalano’s lawyer sought an adjournment to get a second independent report prepared, which was rejected by Justice Gleeson.

The group will own nearly 60 per cent stake in online property listing group Domain.

Fairfax shares will cease trading on the ASX at the close of trade tomorrow.

 

 

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Fairfax Antony Catalano

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