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Second U.S. company bids $2.13 billion for Australia's Fairfax Media

Staff Writer |
Australia's oldest newspaper publisher Fairfax Media said it has received a takeover bid worth as much as A$2.87 billion ($2.13 billion) from a second U.S. private equity firm, sending its shares sharply higher.

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The surprise offer from buyout firm Hellman & Friedman values Fairfax at A$1.225 to A$1.25 a share, compared to an earlier offer from TPG Capital Management and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board of A$1.20 a share.

Investors welcomed the prospect of a bidding war for the 186-year-old publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review newspapers, although lawmakers have expressed concern over the possible impact on local journalism.

"It is always good that there is a bit more competitive tension," said Suhas Nayak, a portfolio manager at Allan Gray, which holds Fairfax shares.

"It is a waiting game from here."

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