INDEPENDENT NEWS

Inl Shareholders Approve Sale To Fairfax

Published: Mon 30 Jun 2003 02:38 PM
For release Monday 30 June 2003
Inl Shareholders Approve Sale To Fairfax
Independent Newspapers Limited today confirmed that a special meeting of shareholders had approved the sale of the company's New Zealand publishing assets to Fairfax New Zealand.
Chairman Ken Cowley said the proposed sale had received 94.23% support, with votes in favour of the sale accounting for 326.9 million shares.
The poll results are as follows:
FOR AGAINST TOTAL
Total Shares 326,943,842 20,003,531 346,947,343
% 94.23% 5.77% 100%
Mr Cowley said he was pleased that the proposal had met with such strong support.
The shareholder approval meant that the transaction would be finalised today.
Mr Cowley told a meeting of around 100 shareholders in Wellington today that the sale marked the end of an era and a long personal association for him with the INL publishing business.
"While it is an emotional occasion, the Board has always maintained that this sale represents the best opportunity for shareholders to maximise their investment."
Mr Cowley said the potential use of the sale proceeds would be considered expeditiously by the INL Board. He confirmed that future options included:
- The potential sale of the Geelong Advertiser
- A return of capital to shareholders
- Increasing INL's shareholding in Sky TV
Mr Cowley said the Board had commissioned an independent valuation of the Sky TV and would await this report before considering the matter any further. "We are considering the options around Sky, but I can assure you that we will not be paying any excessive price or premium."
[Ends]
- Independent Newspapers Limited is New Zealand's largest media company, publishing nine daily newspapers in New Zealand and one in Australia, plus New Zealand's two Sunday newspapers and the news and information website www.stuff.co.nz. In addition INL publishes a range of other weeklies and national magazines, including TV Guide and NZ House & Garden, operates New Zealand's largest magazine distribution business and publishes over 60 community newspaper titles in New Zealand and Australia. INL also holds a 66% interest in Sky Network Television Limited, New Zealand's pre-eminent pay television service. INL had total assets as of 31December 2002 of approximately $NZ2.1B and total annual revenues of approximately $NZ454M for the six months ended 31 December 2002.

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