Billionaire Gina Rinehart is selling her entire stake in Fairfax Media because she believes there’s no workable plan to revitalise the company.
Brokers Morgan Stanley are handling the off market $305 million trade of 352 million shares at 86.75 cents a share.
The sale of 14.99 per cent of Fairfax shares is expected to go through the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday morning.
It comes more than two years after Ms Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, increased her stake in the media company which owns publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Financial Review.
The Perth-based mining magnate bought into Fairfax in early 2012, sparking a fight with chairman, Roger Corbett, as she criticised Fairfax’s performance and demanded a place on the board.
Mr Corbett refused, but did allow the appointment of Ms Rinehart’s friend, Hungry Jacks founder Jack Cowin, to the board.
A spokesman for Ms Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, said the iron ore magnate may consider buying back into the media company in the future under new leadership.
“We have come to the conclusion that the senior leadership of Fairfax Media has no workable plan to revitalise the company and address the declining business and circulation numbers,” Hancock Prospecting chief development officer John Klepec said in a statement.
He said the leadership team had reduced the company’s performance of its key mastheads.
“The Fairfax radio stations will be in more successful hands when moved into the joint venture and management oversight of John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio Network,” Mr Klepec said.
“Should the Fairfax Media leadership change, we may consider a future role in the company.”
Speculation heightened late last year of a tie-up between Fairfax Media and Network Ten, in which Ms Rinehart holds a 10 per cent stake.
Ms Rinehart resigned as a board member of Ten in November last year.
Fairfax shares closed four cents higher at 96 cents on Friday.