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Australia’s Fairfax Media Shareholders Approve Nine Entertainment Takeover

Shareholders at Fairfax Media have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed takeover by Nine Entertainment. The proposed deal would create one of the largest groups in Australian media, spanning free-TV, streaming, radio, newspapers and digital publishing.

At a Fairfax shareholders meeting on Monday, 81.5% of shares voted were in favor of the deal. The meeting went ahead despite an attempt on Sunday night by Anthony Catalano, former head of a Fairfax-owned real estate website, Domain, to buy 19.9% of Fairfax.

The Fairfax board refused Calatano’s attempt to delay the shareholder meeting, arguing that it was not a superior offer. Catalano has said he will continue his fight, by opposing the takeover in the Supreme Court.

The Court, set to pronounce on the deal on Nov. 27, remains the last hurdle to the takeover deal, which received approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission earlier this month. “While the merger between these two big name media players raised a number of extremely complex issues, and will likely reduce competition, we concluded that the proposed merger was not likely to substantially lessen competition in any market in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act,” the ACCC said in a statement.

If the court approves the deal, the takeover will be completed on Dec. 7. The merged company will begin trading on Dec. 10.

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