Fairfax Shares Plunge After Rinehart Sells Her Stake

By webadmin on 08:16 am Jul 06, 2012
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Fairfax Media Ltd., Australia’s second-largest newspaper publisher, fell the most in a week after the country’s richest woman Gina Rinehart sold part of her stake in the business.    

Fairfax shares slipped as much as 4.3 percent in Sydney today, the biggest intraday fall since June 28. The stock was down 1.7 percent at 57.5 Australian cents at 10:41 a.m., while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 0.4 percent.    

Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting Pty. said yesterday in a statement it had cut its stake from about 19 percent to less than 15 percent by selling 86.5 million shares to resolve an issue around an insurance policy for Fairfax directors. While Hancock Prospecting is not seeking control of Fairfax, it wants two seats on the board, it said in the statement.    

“We continue to monitor the performance of our investment in Fairfax noting that the shares are trading at record or near record lows, which is an independent assessment of the chairman’s performance,” Hancock’s Chief Development Officer John Klepec said in the e-mailed statement.    

Hancock is still Fairfax’s largest shareholder with a 14.99 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.